Updates from April 2020

These are the updates from MNLA during the month of April, 2020.


Industry Associations Release a One-Stop Source for State-Level Stay-at-Home Orders

[April 13] | The Nursery and Landscape Association Executives together with AmericanHort, the Irrigation Association and the National Association of Landscape Professionals have developed a clickable map of North America, showcasing the various state stay-at-home orders and their effect on the full green industry.


Green Industry Can Return to Work

[April 8] | Today Governor Tim Walz announced an extension to his “stay-at-home” directive in Executive Order 20-33 . In this new order, Governor Walz states in his worker definitions that Green Industry professionals can return to work, including landscapers, lawn care, garden centers, and other green industry businesses. MNLA has compiled the status of businesses here.

This new order will take effect at 11:59 on April 8, 2020 and will be in effect until 11:59 pm on Sunday, May 3, 2020.

Read further details on the order in the email update from MNLA President Tim Malooly here.


The Advocacy Tools in Our Toolbox

[April 8] | As we await Gov. Walz's press conference today, MNLA President Tim Malooly sent a report to members regarding MNLA's COVID-19 Advocacy.

Our efforts have included many of the “tools” in our advocacy toolbox using proven means and methods to advocate including calm, reasoned and deliberate approaches to this event. Our Government Affairs mechanism has been devoted to helping the Governor understand that our industry is essential and can operate safely.

Read more about what MNLA staff, leadership, and volunteers have been doing in this morning's email.


Today's Advocacy Actions

[April 3] | Today, MNLA staff had the opportunity to speak directly with Governor Walz during a stakeholder meeting with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. The discussion there included vital points about the nature of the Green Industry.

You can read about those topics and more in today's email from MNLA President Tim Malooly.


Quiet Advocacy

[April 1] | MNLA Members, this is an update related to the Governor’s Executive Order 20-20 and our industry today.

REPAIRS TO THE MNLA COVID-19 PAGE FOR MOBILE
MNLA learned of and repaired non-reliable behavior of the mobile version of its home web page and COVID-19 web page. If you use cellular technology to get your updates, please go to the MNLA.biz home page. You should see the COVID-19 Updates & Resources selection front and center.

ADVOCACY INCLUDES “QUIET DIPLOMACY”…AND CALM
MNLA has a robust government affairs program and it continues to operate in overdrive as volunteers, member-leaders, affiliates and staff advocate for the Green Industry during the COVID-19 event. Some of you may recall a cold-war negotiating term known as Quiet Diplomacy. In short, this is a method of communicating positions and negotiating among parties that is not public, yet is often necessary and serves a beneficial purpose for all involved. Please know that MNLA advocacy on your behalf includes quiet diplomacy.

MNLA earned respect over the years due in part to its calm, reasoned and ofttimes quiet approach to public affairs. Part of our reasoned approach today includes the somber knowledge that lives are at stake and an expression of sympathy for the first-line workers, the afflicted, and the position in which our Governor finds himself. The Governor’s seat at the COVID-19 table is not enviable.

Admittedly, the COVID-19 event is NOT something we’ve experienced before, but we’ve remained calm and thoughtful in our interactions with others and I believe our reasoned approach is appreciated all-around and contributes to keeping our “seat” at the (Governor’s) COVID-19 table.  

That said, how we show up as an industry has an impact on ALL the work we are doing to advocate for reasonable restrictions of our industry while managing the task of slowing the impact of this virus on our population. Please remain calm and respectful of this dangerous situation as you consider how you will react to the Governor’s current Executive Order. Your family, neighbors, employees, co-workers, and officials are watching how we as an industry react and behave. Please don’t undo the advocacy efforts being undertaken on your behalf.

LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE SERVICES ARE NOT EXEMPT
On Sunday March 29, 2020, MNLA received word from the Governor that most landscape maintenance services are not exempt during the order (March 27, 2020 through April 10, 2020). This means no field activity to pull plow stakes, rake, dethatch, apply pre-emergent, etc. This includes assigning non-field-based staff to work from home.

MNLA staff and leadership understand fully and sympathize with the potential impact of the Governor’s Order on maintenance providers in the face of potentially early and warm spring conditions. MNLA also understands and agrees that many practitioners can operate safely due to the nature of much of our work. That said, we hope all practitioners abide the Governor’s Order to help our overall advocacy on your behalf and more importantly, to help get rid of this virus!

YOU CAN ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF
If you believe your company offers a service or serves a clientele that deserves exemption from the Governor’s Order, and you and your employees can operate safely, you can make an appeal on your own behalf and receive a decision. We’ve posted the link in past updates and here it is again.

SNOW AND ICE MANAGEMENT IS GENERALLY EXEMPT

Snow and ice services is considered a life-safety activity and is generally exempt from Executive Order 20-20.

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Ultimately, the decision of how to comply with the Governor's order is up to you, your employees and your clients. MNLA advocates for the entire Green Industry and we’re working hard on behalf of all industry segments. Should you choose to continue operations, please be sure to comply with CDC, Minnesota's Dept. of Health, and social distancing procedures. You can find a good deal of information including safety guidance at MNLA's page on Operating Safely During COVID-19.

Remember, we are in this together. The Governor is trying to make certain we protect ourselves, our families, our employees, our vendors and our clients with little or no contact during this stay-at-home order. The more we do early it seems, the better off we will be later.

More to come…

Tim Malooly, Water in Motion
MNLA President

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