Locally, the Green Industry is a major sector of agriculture in Massachusetts. According to a 2007 survey conducted by the New England Nursery Association, in Massachusetts, there are more than 5,130 firms involved in production (nurseries, greenhouses, herbs, cut flowers, turfgrass) retail, (garden center florists), and landscape services (landscape design, installation, maintenance, lawn care, tree care) with an estimated value of over $2.6 billion in gross income. At least 68,800 people are employees in these industries in Massachusetts and an additional 14,000 are required to serve the current demand. This industry is keeping more than 90,000 acres in agriculture, of which 38% is open space and 40% is in land preservation programs. Businesses in this industry paid an estimated $225 million in taxes in 2007.
To foster and prolong the growth of the industry in Massachusetts, the Sustainable Landscape Management and Nursery Production project teaches integrated pest management practices and environmental stewardship strategies to municipal and private landscape professionals, nursery growers and home gardeners. Participants learn to be responsive to client horticultural problems and to collaboratively find workable short and long term solutions to pressing problems. Participants will also understand their role as environmental stewards focused on reducing negative environmental impact by using best management practices.