Irrigation Association honors outstanding contributions to the industry

Irrigation Association honors outstanding contributions to the industry

Winners include the National Mall irrigation overhaul project and two radio show hosts.

November 9, 2017
Kate Spirgen
Industry News Irrigation Show

Each year, the Irrigation Association recognizes the achievements of those working in the field at its annual Irrigation Show. The following are this year’s winners of honors in the landscape and horticulture fields:

Irrigation Association Innovator Award

This new award went to Mike Baron and Robert Starr, both of The Toro Company, for The Water Zone radio program. The show, which started in July of 2015, provides information on responsible water use and separates facts from fiction.

The honor is awarded to someone who has made significant, tangible contributions consistently to the industry and the Irrigation Association within the past five years.

Vanguard Award Turf-Landscape

The National Mall revitalization project which was completed in fall of 2016, earned this new award. Spanning three years of planning and four years of construction, the undertaking included the installation of a new irrigation system that uses 1 million gallons of underground storm water storage, new curbing, structural soils and a new drainage system. Now, more than 40 percent of the property’s water use comes from storm water runoff.

The system used intuitive design, efficient products and industry-leading technology, including a smart device with wi-fi communication between the irrigation interface and pump station, and the central computer located 1.5 miles away.

Brian Vinchesi, president of Irrigation Consulting, accepted the award on behalf of a large group of companies that participated. Irrigation Association participant companies included: 3M, Atlantic Irrigation, BrightView, Buckner Superior, Campbell Scientific, Flowtronex, Harrington Corporation, Hunter Industries, Irrigation Consulting, ISCO Industries, Lasco Fittings, Oldcastle Enclosure Solutions, Paige Electric, Rain Bird, Sure-Flo Fittings, T. Christy Enterprises, The Toro Company and VAF Filtration Systems.

For more on the National Mall project, visit

Excellence in Education Award

This award is given to someone who is actively teaching or has taught irrigation, water management and/or water conservation in affiliation with a two- or four-year institution.

Claire Ehrlinger, horticulture lead instructor at MiraCosta College in Oceanside, California, won for her dedication to teaching, curriculum developments and training to both professionals and homeowners in water conservation.

Click here for more Irrigation Show coverage.