NHLA / NHPGA Merger Update

by Dave DeJohn, NHCLP

In the December issue of the Newsletter I wrote a brief article about the idea of merging the New Hampshire Landscape Association and the New Hampshire Plant Growers Association back into one single Association. A committee was formed from members of both Associations along with the Cooperative Extension to begin to explore the idea and look at the various pros and cons of such a merger. Since that first meeting a year ago the committee has met several times to compare By-Laws and Mission Statements and start to work out a time line and action plan as well as ideas on how such a merger would be funded.

At our recent January Joint Winter Meeting at the Grappone center we held an informal discussion in the morning to inform members about the merging of our two organizations and to get feedback from those that attended. Although I would have expected more people to attend the meeting, it was a lively discussion, and the idea was met with a relatively positive response. It was agreed to continue to move forward. Between now and March 22 (the date of our Spring Conference) it’s important for members of both organizations to voice their opinions, give feedback, and ask questions. Members of both Associations will need to vote either by email or at the March Conference as to whether or not we actually start the formal process of merging the two Associations. It’s important to understand that there are still a lot of questions as to how we actually go about this and that we are moving somewhat slowly so as to not make mistakes. Ultimately though, we can only go so far until we get approval or not from members so it is very important that you vote!

Merging the two Associations will:

  • Require a name change
  • Require a new logo
  • Combine the two existing sets of By-Laws into one
  • Require a new Constitution
  • Require an as yet undetermined way to finance the merger and all it entails
  • Continue with a strong Board such as NHLA has now
  • Have the possibility of hiring an Executive Director in the future to help with Fundraising, membership drives, marketing, etc.
  • Increase communication, exchange of ideas and information
  • Increase support for all members
  • Increase networking among membership
  • Create more opportunities for education

The idea of this merger and bringing the two organizations back together is a pretty big deal, as big as it was almost 40 years ago to split into two. It’s not being taken lightly by the folks working on this, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly by members of NHLA or NHPGA either. We need your feedback, we need to hear from you, your ideas, concerns and questions and now is the time because March is coming quickly and we all know what happens when spring hits.

It is now up to you, the members of the two Associations, to vote in favor of officially pursuing the merger of NHLA and NHPGA.
Vote here

You can find my contact information on the Leadership page, so feel free to get in touch with me or anyone else on the Board regarding this or any other issue.

Also see President Jim Moreau’s recent article, which also discusses the proposed merger.