NALP and Lawn Care Companies Partner to Boost State Advocacy Efforts - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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NALP and Lawn Care Companies Partner to Boost State Advocacy Efforts

Advocacy is one of the key focuses of the National Association of Landscape Professionals. While there are a lot of matters being fought for at the federal level, some of the toughest battles are at the state and local levels. These misinformed and misguided policies can seriously impact lawn care companies and threaten their businesses.

“The only way we’re going to beat this, because a lot of this is rooted in emotion, is that we need to activate what is our biggest strength,” says Andrew Bray. “I always tell folks, we’re generally not going to outspend our opposition, but we have more manpower than our opposition.”

NALP members Lawn Doctor, Spring-Green, TruGreen, Weed Man, Senske Services and others have joined together to work with NALP’s government relations team to fight harmful legislation at the local, state and federal levels.

Jennifer Lemcke, CEO of Weed Man, says she realized that they were letting other people tell their story by not being as engaged in advocacy. She says they also discovered not many of their franchisees were NALP members. Now every single franchisee is a member and they receive all of the newsletters and are invited to NALP events.

The national lawn care franchises have also banded together to form the Grassroots State Advisory Council. While the PAC deals with federal issues, this new council can focus on state matters.

“Where we can really impact is at the state level, not just by a voice, but also with funds to give to those causes,” Lemcke says.

With this state advocacy grassroots fund, the money is earmarked for specific endeavors in state advocacy efforts. Bray says this funding mechanism serves as an extra resource just for the lawn care industry.

Chris Sherrington with Lawn Doctor adds that they’ve seen more legislation go through in the last three years than they have in 10 years.

“Our franchisees, they are locally owned, locally operated business owners,” Sherrington says. “They’re building a business for their families. They’re looking to really us as the franchisor to be able to give them direction on policies that are coming forward and if they need to engage with their lawmakers. Not everyone is comfortable with engaging with some of these policymakers, these assembly members, and these committees, so they will look for other ways that they can fund and that we can go ahead and move forward with that in a respectable way.”

Sherrington says they are looking for more volunteers to talk to state legislators and put a face to the industry.

NALP has two methods for others in the industry to get involved. One is Voices for Healthy Green Spaces, which is a free national digital advocacy network. Alerts are sent out whenever NALP needs to activate advocates to share their stories. The other method is the Advocacy Contact Team (ACT) which are boots-on-the-ground volunteers in each state who can rally when an issue comes up.

“NALP is focused on your issues,” Lemcke says. “We are top and center. All of the issues that we have identified are being dealt with.”

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.