The MNLA Special Service Award honors MNLA members or industry friends who have, over a long period of time, selflessly given of themselves personally and/or professionally to the nursery and landscape business a better industry. The MNLA Awards-Nominating Committee determines recipients of the Special Service Award based on input from several sources. The award winner is honored at the MNLA Landscape Gala each year.
- 1977 — Keith Law, MNA Executive Secretary
- 1988 — Peter Olin, University of Minnesota
- 1991 — Ken Vogel, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
- 1992 — Buster Friberg, Bachman’s, Inc.
- 1996 — Jim & Gen McCarthy, MNLA Executive Directors
- 1999 — Tim Power, Law’s Nursery
- 2000 — Al Pruzinske and John Behrends, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
- 2001 — Art Mason, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
- 2003 — Rob LaFavor, Otten Bros. Nursery & Landscaping, Inc. Mark Madsen, Bachman’s, Inc. Rick Tesch, M/A Peterson Designbuild Inc.
- 2005 — Paul Hugunin, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
- 2006 — Nancy Fish & Jerry Payne, Bywords Printing
- 2007 — Brad Pederson, University of Minnesota
- 2008 — Ed Plaster, Dakota County Technical College
- 2008 — STATE FAIR TEAM: Bill Mielke, Heidi Heiland, Patrick Warden, Rachael Nelson, Douglas Owens-Pike
- 2011 — John Boland, MNLA Lobbyist
- 2011 — Minnesota State Fair
- 2013 — Bob Fitch, MNLA Executive Director
- 2014 — Mike Heger, Ambergate Gardens and Mark Stennes, S & S Tree Specialists, Inc.
- 2015 — Harold Pellett, University of Minnesota, retired (posthumously)