The Maine Landscape and Nursery Association was formed to promote professional standards and conduct within the horticultural field. Arborists, greenhouse and florist businesses, golf course attendants, nurseries, landscape installers and maintenance workers, and horticultural educators and researchers have all been encouraged to join. MeLNA is not a social club. It is best known for promoting The Flower Show. This event showcases the talents of landscapers who create fantastic gardens each spring.
Each year, through various events, such as a Trade Show and community projects, the Maine Landscape and Nursery Association does community service and schedules seminars designed to increase awareness of new trends and standards in the horticultural field. Seminars on marketing, ethics, new plant cultivars, how to run a business, and pesticide responsibility are part of the Trade Show.
MeLNA is also active in the legislature, sponsoring bills and protecting horticultural industry interests. Recently, the organization has tried to extend farm status benefits to nursery businesses. Since most horticultural professionals are working long days all season; this aspect of MeLNA is vital.
The MeLNA promotes a certification program. While most independent Mainers cringe when it comes to anything smacking of regulation, there is Maine government licensing standards for other trades. This program is voluntary and industry regulated, designed to encourage professional conduct and ensure the public knows the certified professional meets minimum standards and is competent to do the work. Anyone possessing a Maine Certified Nursery Professional or Maine Certified Landscape Professional certificate or pin has passed a rigorous written test, been in the trade for years, has a pesticide license, and signed an agreement to abide by a code of conduct. Each year, the certified professional must attend an all day workshop, at the minimum, to stay active. In the near future, the certification program will be New England based, with Maine driving and setting the pace for this process. What this will mean is that a Maine certified professional will also be accepted anywhere in New England as a certified professional. For the homeowner, it guarantees the certified professional you hire has the knowledge and expertise to do the job properly and will stand behind the work should you have problems.
For the home gardener, there is a section of the MeLNA website specifically
for you. Reading more about the programs and events will help you appreciate
the good work the organization does. Just being a member of MeLNA shows
that the person you hire has an interest beyond just the monetary aspect
of horticultural business. The easiest way to access the website appears
to be through Google. Go to www.google.com and type in Maine Landscape
and Nursery Association website and you can learn more about this fine
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