In the beginning, the members of the landscape industry created the NH Plantgrowers Association to promote ethical practices and professional development. This association grew to represent all areas of the industry, including landscapers and plant growers. In the early ’80s, a group of dedicated landscapers formed the New Hampshire Landscape Association (NHLA) to better serve the specific needs of landscapers. Since that time the two associations have retained close ties as exemplified by our joint January conference. For a majority of the time since the split, membership has been high in both groups. However, over the years as the horticultural, greenhouse, and landscape industries have changed, especially since the 2008 recession, membership in both associations has dropped, as well as, created other challenges for both associations.
In February 2018, several members of the Cooperative Extension, the NH Landscape Association and the Plant Growers Association got together to discuss the possibility of bringing the two associations back together, as one. Over the last several months this committee has looked at the pros and cons of the proposal, as well as, compared the By-Laws and Constitutions of both associations, in order to find ways to combine them into one document. This process is in the beginning stages and still has a long way to go.
We will be presenting this idea at our annual joint Conference, in January, where our members can hear about the proposal, ask questions and address concerns. At the end of the discussion, the membership will vote to move the process forward or not. The two months between the January and March conferences, will be a comment period. During this time, it is imperative that we hear from as many members, as possible. An official vote, to approve the merger, by the full membership of both associations will be completed during the March meeting, at the Puritan Conference Center, on March 22, 2019.
Your thoughts and concerns are very important, as we address this exciting possibility. We would appreciate your support by attending both meetings. If you have any immediate questions feel free to contact any of the directors on the NHLA or NHPGA Boards.