NENA News April 2016 Print

President's Message

To me, one of the surest signs of spring is The Boston Flower & Garden Show. This year's show was held March 16-20. Each year, NENA board members volunteer as judges and get a behind-the-scenes look at this exciting event before it opens to the public. After careful deliberation, they present NENA's award to the exhibit that best utilizes a range of New England native plants and their cultivars in a visually appealing and environmentally sensible setting.  My thanks to Mark Hixson, Peter House, and Jake Pierson for serving as NENA's judges at the Flower Show.  They reported that the garden displays in Boston were top notch. That, combined with record setting attendance at the show, bodes very well for all of us in the green industry.

Best wishes for a successful spring season!


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NENA Award Presented at Boston Flower Show

NENA's judges at the flower show admire their selection. From left to right: Peter House, East Haven Landscape Products, East Haven, CT; Mark Hixson, Monrovia Growers, Granby, CT; and Jake Pierson, Pierson Nurseries, Inc., Biddeford, ME.

March 16-20, 2016 --Every year, NENA presents an award at the Boston Flower & Garden Show, held at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. This year's NENA award was presented to Heimlich Nurseries, Woburn, MA.

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New Video Highlights the Advantages of Careers in the Green Industry

In December, New England GROWS unveiled a new video, "Finding Your Place in the Green Industry," which is available to the commercial horticulture community on YouTube. Click here to watch. Developed by GROWS in collaboration with its four founding partner organizations (including NENA), the video highlights green industry professionals -- from students to experienced veterans -- commenting on what they enjoy about their careers. Career benefits and rewards are outlined, and resources are listed. Feel free to use this video for your recruitment or educational efforts!

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Young Nursery Professional Award Recipients

NENA's Young Nursery Professional Award recognizes, honors and encourages participation, achievement and growth by individuals in the industry who meet the following criteria:

  • Are under the age of 40;
  • Have shown involvement in his or her state association;
  • Have contributed to the success of his or her company; and 
  • Have portrayed a positive image of the nursery industry to the public.

Nominations for the awards are made by the individual New England state associations. Congratulations to the following individuals who were recognized by NENA and their state associations as the 2016 Young Nursery Professionals of the Year:

Dustyn Clifford Nelson, CANP
The Garden Barn - Vernon, CT

Zach & Katey Campbell
Campbell's Landscape & Design - Topsham, Maine 


Rhode Island
Paul Camara, RI-CH
Spring Green Landscaping and Masonry, Inc. - Exeter, Rhode Island

Hannah Decker
Fairfax Perennial Farm, Inc. - Fairfax, Vermont 

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NENA Annual Meeting Recap

Many thanks to all who attended NENA's Annual Meeting, held at New England GROWS on December 3. It's always a great gathering, and a welcome chance to catch up with fellow nursery professionals. One highlight of the meeting was a brief presentation by Raul Cabrera of Rutgers Agricultural Research & Extension Center, Rutgers University. In 2015, Dr. Cabrera received a NENA/HRI grant to support his research on, "Alternative irrigation water sources for the green industry." He updated members on his research and thanked NENA for the association's generous support and investment in the industry.

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Mark Your Calendar!

November 30 - December 2, 2016

Plans are underway for New England GROWS 2016. Exhibitor sales are strong, the educational conference is taking shape, and NENA, along with the New England GROWS team is excited to plan another valuable experience. Many consider GROWS a can't-miss "annual reunion." The great vendor deals and outstanding educational offerings are a big bonus!

Thank you to all who attended GROWS in December. The feedback has been extremely positive. NENA is grateful to Rich Clark of Clark Farms in Rhode Island ,who served as President of New England GROWS in 2015. Thanks also to Ed Bemis, MCH & Jake Pierson for representing NENA on the New England GROWS Educational Advisory Committee.

If you're interested in securing exhibit space, please contact Lori Kane via email or at (508) 653-3009.

New England GROWS is an educational partnership between New England Nursery Association, Massachusetts Arborists Association, Massachusetts Association of Landscape Professionals, and Massachusetts Nursery & Landscape Association. Its network includes more than 40 allied green industry organizations.

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Industry News from Around New England & Beyond

Positive thoughts for Ed Bemis
Please send positive thoughts and well wishes to NENA's President, Ed Bemis, MCH of Bemis Farms Nursery in Spencer, MA. In January, Ed fell on some ice and broke his back. He's been wearing a brace since that time but recently learned that the break is getting worse. In mid-April he will have spine surgery followed by several months of recovery. We're pulling for you, Ed!

Greenhouse Grower's 2016 State of the Industry Whitepaper
Click here to download.

At Last Rose Wins Shrub Madness 2016
Throughout March, the basketball tournament-style bracket called "Shrub Madness" moved through six rounds of competition at, using popular vote to determine the winner of each match. At Last rose defeated Let's Dance Rave hydrangea to be crowned tournament champion. Check out the finalists here (the Floral Four).

April is National Lawn Care Month
Click here to read all about it and to learn some interesting "fun facts." One example: Did you know that lawns trap more than 12 million tons of dust and dirt annually? (Source: The Lawn Institute).

Garden Writers Association Rebrands to Reflect Expanding Membership Base - Their new name is: "GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators." In addition to garden writers, members also include photographers, speakers, landscape designers and more.

Toro recognized for water conservation efforts
In late March, Toro was invited to participate in the White House Water Summit. The company was recognized for its innovative water-preservation techniques for turf and agricultural applications. Last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency named Toro as one of seven 2015 WaterSense Partners of the Year.

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