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Alternative Irrigation Water Sources Research Receives First NENA/HRI Industry Growth Fund Grant Award

Boston, Mass. — The New England Nursery Association (NENA), in cooperation with the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), recently announced that Professor Raul Cabrera is the first recipient of the association's new Industry Growth Fund grant award. After a review of 60+ grant applications, NENA selected Cabrera's research project, "Use of Alternative Irrigation Water Sources for Urban Landscapes and Nursery Crops," as their top recommendation for funding.

"Water conservation is a top priority for commercial horticulture," said NENA president Peter House. "The results of Professor Cabrera's innovative research will help shape the way our industry manages this vital resource well into the future," he concluded.

Professor Cabrera thanked the NENA board of directors and HRI for their vote of confidence and support of his research. "Dwindling water supplies and environmental pressures are severely challenging the operations and future of the nursery and landscape industry," he said. "We believe that the evaluation and eventual large-scale use of alternative irrigation water supplies by the green industry will play a major role in its sustainability," he concluded.

In what he termed a "serendipitous turn of events," Cabrera – who since 1999 has been an Associate Professor at Texas A & M University – recently accepted an Extension and Research position with Rutgers University in New Jersey. "This move right next to New England will add another level of synergy [to the collaboration] and yield positive impact and outcomes benefitting the local and national green industries," he said.

The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) and the New England Nursery Association (NENA) launched the New England Nursery Association Industry Growth Fund in February 2014. This new purpose restricted fund is designed to allow grants to be drawn from both the interest and the principal as needed.
The alliance brings together HRI's 52-year history as the horticulture industry's leading green industry research and educational foundation with NENA's vision to maximize organizational funds, collaborate closely with experts, and put investment monies to work where they will directly help the New England commercial horticulture industry.
Since 1912, the New England Nursery Association (NENA) has worked to benefit those in the business of growing and selling green goods. The association offers an array of informational services and facilitates conversation that ensures an up-to-date understanding of consumer needs, market demands, and emerging trends. NENA is a founding partner of the New England Grows conference and exhibition that is held annually in Boston. For more information about NENA, visit or contact Virginia Wood at (508) 653-3112.

The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), founded in 1962, has provided more than $6.5 million in funds to research projects covering a broad range of production, environmental, and business issues important to the green industry. Nearly $11 million is committed to the endowment by individuals, corporations, and associations. HRI is the recognized research affiliate of AmericanHort. For more information about HRI, its grant-funded research, or programming, visit or contact Jennifer Gray at 614.884.1155.

Professor Raul Cabrera is the first recipient of the NENA/HRI Industry Growth grant.

Professor Cabrera demonstrates some of the intricacies of his "Use of Alternative Irrigation Water Sources for Urban Landscapes and Nursery Crops" research project.



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