The green industry lost a giant on Wednesday June 4th; David McLean has succumbed to cancer. Dave had been one of the most beloved and knowledgeable people in South Florida horticulture for nearly 50 years. Dave taught at Broward Community College for over 25 years where he was instrumental in influencing many, if not most of today’s South Florida green industry professionals. His plant identification classes were renowned for being taught with “tough love”. During his lecture strolls around the campus he would talk in great detail about a particular plant found growing in a sunny location on campus. Students would listen intently, take notes furiously and pull off several leaf samples, some to be saved for later study and some to be felt for texture or crushed for possible aroma and even chewed for clues and details to help them remember that plant exactly. Then on test days David could lead the class to the same species of plant growing in heavy shade where many of the identifying characteristics were very different. Those identification classes were some of the most trying classes that his students ever learned to love. Dave possessed a contagious love of all things natural and horticultural that he in turn planted and nurtured in all the people that were lucky enough to know him. I’m proud to have counted myself among his students.
-Bill Byrnes, President