New England Nursery Association


New England Nursery Association (NENA) Industry Growth Initiative

The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) and the New England Nursery Association (NENA) partnered together to create the New England Nursery Association Industry Growth Fund, a new type of grant program through HRI. The Industry Growth Fund was formally created at a signing ceremony during New England Grows in Boston in February 2014. This new purpose-restricted fund was designed to allow grants to be drawn from both the interest and the principal as needed.

“NENA members are excited to support the kind of innovation and new thinking that will ultimately shape the future of the horticulture profession,” stated Peter House, East Haven Landscape Products (East Haven, CT), 2014 NENA President. “Our collaboration with Horticultural Research Institute—through this new Industry Growth Initiative—enables NENA to make significant contributions and continue to move the industry forward.”

The alliance brings together Horticultural Research Institute’s 52-year history as the horticulture industry’s leading green industry research and educational foundation and NENA’s vision to maximize organizational funds, collaborate closely with experts, and put investment monies to work where they will directly help New England commercial horticulture industry.

The agreement between HRI and NENA serves as an example for other state or regional horticultural associations to combine resources with HRI, allowing HRI to serve as the central institute for the horticultural research granting process.  By combining forces, HRI and NENA will be in a better position to select and direct research that is critical to the New England green industries.

“NENA worked closely with HRI to design a unique fund, flexible enough to support innovative local projects that we hadn’t been able to fund under the traditional model,” noted Virginia Wood, NENA Executive Director. “While our endowment fund with HRI remains an important component of our research outreach, the new Industry Growth Fund enables NENA to more readily fund a variety of important local projects.”

The new NENA/HRI Industry Growth Initiative is designed to support such projects as:

  • “local-to-NENA” platforms that build community and promote collaboration
  • economic impact studies that bolster the industry
  • marketing strategies that boost sales of plants and services
  • research that provides scientifically proven answers to critical questions
  • education to engage the next generation
  • programs to support and inspire tomorrow’s horticultural workforce

The collaboration with NENA is another example of how HRI works to build prosperous businesses, advance the green industry, and fulfill its core vision to direct, fund, promote, and communicate horticultural research.