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PLNA e-News: Protecting Values In Pennsylvania

Petition to Open Garden Centers Now Approaching 17,000

Monday, April 20, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
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ANNVILLE - PLNA sent the following press release to media outlets statewide Sunday. Total petition signers are now approaching 17,000.


Over 15,000 Ask Governor Wolf to Open Independent Garden Centers

Public says that garden centers must open this spring

For Immediate Release
April 19, 2020

For more information contact:
Gregg Robertson

ANNVILLE – Over 15,000 Pennsylvanians are asking Governor Wolf to allow their local independent family-owned garden centers to open. Governor Wolf in his COVID-19 executive order required that independent garden centers be closed.

The petition was started on April 14, 2020 by the Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association (PLNA), which represents garden centers, greenhouses, nurseries and landscape contractors in Pennsylvania. The petition surpassed 15,000 supporters today. The names of the supporters and their comments will be provided to the Governor by PLNA. The petition can be seen on

“We are hopeful that the Governor will see that a significant number of his constituents support their local family-owned garden centers and want them to be able to serve their communities during this COVID-19 crisis,” said Ted Ventre, PLNA board chairman and owner of Hively Landscapes in Dover, Pa. “Pennsylvanian’s want to be able to start their home vegetable gardens, the safest source of food during this time.”

A recent survey revealed that 77% of adults spend time gardening around their homes. More than one third grow some of their own food, a proportion that will surely increase during the COVID crisis.

Independent family-owned garden centers are at a critical time in their year. Most make up to 75% of their annual revenue during the spring months of April-June. The spring season carries them throughout the rest of the year.

The problem also extends to the greenhouses and nurseries that supply the garden centers with vegetable plants, annuals and other plants. With the garden centers closed, the greenhouses and nurseries the grew the plants are left holding plants that soon will be ruined and unmarketable.

All of Pennsylvania’s surrounding states have allowed garden centers to open - Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia.

Below are some of the more than 700 comments received on the petition in support of reopening independent garden centers. All comments and petition signatures will be provided to Governor Wolf.

"I believe garden centers provide an essential service by providing plants to enable us to grow and provide our own food source to sustain life.” Lisa, State College, Pa,

"I am signing because now is the time of year to plant new and start fresh. It seems only appropriate in these times of isolation. Requirements for facemasks and social distancing of course would apply." Barbara, Wallingford, Pa.

"Gardening is good for the soul. A great stress reliever in this uncertain time." Rebecca, Erie, Pa.

"Outdoor activity is healthy and nourishing. Please remove the gardening centers from closure lists." Bryan, Gettysburg, Pa.

"The repercussions of being closed so long are going to be devastating to family businesses. I fear they may not recover." Matthew, Lititz, Pa.

"Gardening is an essential element of life! People should be growing their own food every day!" Jason, Clarks Summit, Pa.

"Garden centers that provide fruit and vegetable plants are essential! Gardening is good for mental health as well as providing food." Connie, Albion, Pa.


The Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association (PLNA) is the leading trade association representing Pennsylvania's $6.8 billion green industry. Its member landscape contractors, retail garden centers, wholesale nurseries and greenhouses produce outdoor living environments that improve economic value, air quality, water quality and human health.



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