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Senate Bill 209

Senate Bill 209 has been introduced and will be referred to Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection.  Under the bill, a political subdivision may enact an ordinance that prohibits the use of or otherwise regulates pesticides.  This bill does not have bi-partisanship support and has not yet been introduced in the assembly.  We have made calls to lawmakers pertaining to this bill and as of now does not have a strong chance of making it out of the committee.  We will continue to monitor the bill and keep the association abreast of where the bill stands.


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2019 WNLA Golf Outing


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WNLA Brewers Game Save the Date


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Call For Presentations

Call for Presentations - Turf Education Day (TED), The Impact Conference, iLandscape 2020
Interested in sharing your knowledge with people in the industry?
We have plenty of opportunities for you!

Turf Education Day (TED): August 29, 2019
Presentation topics can include: Cultural Practices, Disease Control, Fertilizers, Insect Control, IPM, Organics, Ornamental Bed Weed Control, Regulatory, Soil/Water, Turfgrass Selection, and Other.

Click Here for the Presentation Submission Form

Join us for The Impact Conference:
Resilient Landscapes: Redefining the Design/Build/Maintain Paradigm

October 22, 2019
Chicago Botanic Garden

Building Sustainable Landscapes

We are seeking dynamic and engaging speakers who are passionate about approaching the landscape and landscaping in a more sustainable and ecologically focused manner. Those who can provide both inspiration and the “why”, but also practical strategies which can immediately be adopted by a diverse group of landscape industry professionals.
This year's theme addresses the common “Design, Build, Maintain” landscape industry process. We will be exploring how this process would benefit from more strategic cross-collaboration between various disciplines, and how this collaboration ultimately translates to a healthy, economically stable, and resilient landscape.
How do designers and architects consider establishment and maintenance in all aspects of the design process? How does a landscape contractor execute the original vision and intentions of the design through the installation and maintenance process?
Practitioners will discover real-world solutions to the industry’s most pressing issues, and gain key insights into the most cutting edge trends in the sustainable landscape movement.

Click here to submit a presentation

iLandscape: January 29-31, 2020
Presentation topics can include: Plants and Horticulture, Management and Operations, Sales and Marketing, Maintenance and Snow, Landscape Architecture and Design, Landscape Construction and Installation, and Other.
Submission Deadline: May 31, 2019

Click Here for the Presentation Submission Form


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WI DNR Nursery Equipment For Sale

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has some items for sale.  Currently on the site the have a number of grading belts and field equipment for sale.  These items can be found under the "Nursery Engineering Equipment and Supplies" category.

Please click here to view the items for sale!


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Traveling Choices

Whether it’s the take-home policy or the purchase method, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to service vehicles.

April 25, 2019
Photos courtesy of Serpico Landscaping

From pickup trucks to vans to utility vehicles, landscape contractors can use a wide variety of vehicles for each specific job. Peter Novak, president of Serpico Landscaping based in Hayward, California, says his company uses pickup trucks for landscape maintenance.

The company, which employs about 150 people, tried out various pickup trucks and decided to purchase primarily one brand. “It’s the most versatile option,” Novak says. “We wanted to be able to maximize our utilization on our fleet, which means that the more versatile of a vehicle we can use, the more ways we can purpose that vehicle if we’re not necessarily sending it out to a maintenance route for the day.”

Novak’s fleet consists of roughly 85 service vehicles, the bulk of which are pickup trucks. Vans are used by irrigation crews. Management and sales staff are assigned either a company truck or SUV.

Different for each job.

Similarly, at Phase One Landscapes, a 50-employee company based in Denver, president Dave Graham says pickup trucks are used for maintenance crews.

Graham’s fleet includes a one-ton dump truck, multiple pickup trucks (large super duty ones for construction crews and smaller ones for management and a small gardening division) and a handful of trailers to pull behind them. The company has about 20 vehicles in the fleet.

Vans aren’t used at his company. “We haul too many materials. The stuff that we have to utilize on projects doesn’t really fit in a van. The tools are all carried either in a toolbox or trailers now,” Graham says.

Serpico Landscaping uses vans for irrigation work.“Irrigation technicians are typically the highest paid labor that you will have as a landscape contractor,” Novak says. “The wise thing to do is to make sure that you eliminate as much non-productive time as possible. You have to have an inventory of things with them at their hands ready to go.”

That inventory includes all tools and parts that would likely be needed for irrigation repair.

“The van works well for that because we can house those parts and equipment, those materials. We can secure them. We can lock the van up,” Novak says.

All-season approach.

At Elegant Landscape & Design, President Eric Koeppel says the company uses UTVs with their crews in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Elegant Landscape & Design is a full-service lawn care and maintenance company. The company works with country clubs and employs about 145 people.

Koeppel’s fleet consists of one grapple truck, three or four pickup trucks and about three dozen utility vehicles, some of which are hooked up to dump truck trailers. They also have a single passenger van and trailer for a mowing crew.

The utility vehicles carry a lower minimum liability for insurance purposes and are typically stored on the client’s property, Koeppel says. They are also less intrusive to the grounds at the high-end properties.

“They give us much more access to areas that we may not be able to get to if you were in a truck,” Koeppel says.

Take home policy.

Koeppel says employees can drive vehicles home but are not allowed to use them for any personal use. Novak says his company policy is that crew trucks and irrigation vans are not taken home.

“The employees depart our warehouse with them in the morning and return to our warehouse. They are housed here at night,” Novak says. Management and sales staff can take vehicles home and often need to because of the nature of their work.

“They are out prospecting or doing whatever they need to do at various times during the day, and they may have board meetings or evening client meetings that they need to attend to,” Novak says.

“The wise thing to do is to make sure that you eliminate as much non-productive time as possible.” Peter Novak, president, Serpico Landscaping

To lease or finance?

When the company started, Koeppel says the first two trucks were leased. Since then, the company has purchased vehicles. They will finance if a low APR is being offered.

Novak says vehicles are not leased, as they’ll finance them or purchase them outright as new vehicles or high-quality lease returns. At 150,000 miles or more, vehicles are flagged.

“We use a red, amber, green type system. It kind of keeps us aware as we’re doing our budgeting planning for the following upcoming year,” Novak says.

Graham says most vehicles last seven to 10 years before replacement is considered.

“We got in a position during the 2008 to 2013 range, where we spent more money on repairs and keeping our trucks alive than we should have because at a certain point you’re going to spend as much money on repairing them, as you would just making another payment,” Graham says.

The author is a freelance writer based in Ohio.


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Start With Retention

Cream of the Crop

April 25, 2019

Cream of the Crop features a rotating panel from the Harvest Group, a landscape business consulting company.

© djile | Adobe Stock

As if there weren’t enough challenges for landscapers, it’s become apparent that your organization better be really good at both retention and recruiting the right people. In today’s reality, the employee market has most definitely shifted from an employer’s market to an employee’s market. Of course, most of you, if not all of you, already know this, right?

Here is what that means to you and your company:

  • Construction in all industries has picked up, meaning your people are prime targets.
  • People are leaving their current organizations for higher-paying positions.
  • Studies show that at least 20 percent of your people are looking for new jobs right now.
  • Your organization’s ability to recruit and retain the right people is now critical.

If that isn’t enough, those of you using the H-2B program are learning that it’s becoming more and more unreliable. Additionally, if you’ve been relying on the H-2B program, your recruiting and retention skills have likely become rusty or non-existent. Beware!

If good employees are leaving and you can’t find good ones to replace them, then you have a retention challenge. If you can’t keep the good ones and can’t fix the problem, it doesn’t make sense to go out and recruit more people only to lose them because some areas in your organization need to be fixed.

Try these tips to improve retention at your company.

Listen and learn.

Conduct exit interviews, hold on-boarding meetings and even better yet, conduct stay on vboard meetings. Learn why people leave, why they came to work for your company and why they stayed at your company and build from there.

Build and shape the right culture.

Every company has its own unique culture. How would you describe yours? Does it need some work? Do you have an awesome vision that people want to be part of and stay part of? Are your core values clearly spelled out and lived by everyone including the leaders. Remember, this can either be one of your most attractive recruiting and retention tools or, if it’s not in good shape, your worst.

Unresolved issues.

We all have them. What are the lingering issues at your organization? Maybe it’s a bad culture, poor leadership, inconsistent application of procedures, favoritism or keeping too many “sacred cows” on board for too long. Sound familiar? Identify your key issues and get these resolved!

“If good employees are leaving and you can’t find good ones to replace them, then you have a retention challenge.”

Be competitive with pay rates.

Learn what the true market value is for the people you are looking for and what it takes to keep the good ones on board. Ordinarily, pay is not at the top of reasons why people come or stay with you, but it is now for sure. Get your top performers up to market value stat!

Take stock and good care of what you have.

Know who’s currently on board and what performance and potential levels they possess. Rate and rank your team members. Get a sense of priority of who you need to focus on and know what is needed to keep your keepers. Identify development needs and retention strategies. Let them know you have an eye on them for moving on up.

Hiring and onboarding.

It’s important to make this a positive experience for new employees. Focus on ensuring their safety and providing them with the proper tools to become positive, productive team members. Upgrade this process now. Include a piece on your culture and values. Make certain they feel welcomed and appreciated. Include and involve leaders and owners. Assign a “buddy” for all new team members to help get them on board and to stay on board.

Career ladders.

This is a great tool for both recruiting and retention. Break each position into three steps or rungs. Example: Lead Person – Crew Leader – Senior Crew Leader. Show graphically what skills, behaviors and results are needed to achieve each level. Once people get the “picture,” they know what is needed to move up the ladder! They can now actually visually see where they can aspire toward.

So there you have it, or at least a good start to answering the question: Which comes first, recruiting or retention? Start with retention.

Always remember that your success includes people at the core of your business. Your ability to find them and keep them ( the right ones) is essential.


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Need a Point Of Sale System? Look at what this WNLA Member Discount provider is offering….

Cornerstone Processing Solutions Inc. is proud of it's long time relationship with the WNLA. Not only does Cornerstone offer WNLA member’s significant discounts on credit card processing fees, but they also offer Point of Sale (POS) System Solutions. You can add a POS system to your business for as little as $29 a month (for only 36 months, and then you own it). This includes all the hardware, software, lifetime equipment warranty, and even free receipt paper!

Also, remember that a portion of Cornerstone's profit goes back to the WNLA! It's a great way to save money on your processing fees, while also supporting the association that supports your business!

Call 1-888-878-2615 or email for more information or to schedule a POS system demo. 



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Green Capital!

2019 Eastern Regional Annual Conference
Madison, WI
October 16th-19th
Come to the U.S. Heartland to learn the latest on propagation, production, and new plant breeding from industry leaders. IPPS Eastern Region conference tours will visit major propagation and production nurseries, botanical gardens, and corporate landscape designs across southern Wisconsin.The educational program as well as the tours will demonstrate the diversity and resilience of the plants and people that live and work in what can be a challenging climate. Save the dates now and plan to join us!

Pre-Conference Tour:

Johnson's Nursery

Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory

Boemer Botanical Gardens

Agrecol Native Seed & Plant Nursery


Two Days of Afternoon Conference Tours:

McKay Nursery

J.W. Jung Seed Company

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

University of Wisconsin Arboretum

Epic Systems

The Allen Centennial Garden


Our host hotel is the newly renovated Park Hotel, the only hotel on Madison’s Capitol Square in downtown Madison.  There are dozens of unique local restaurants within a 5 minute walk of the hotel - always a perk for attendees.  The hotel also features complimentary 24/7 airport shuttle.  Our IPPS group room rate is $159 for a traditional room with one or two beds, $169 for a deluxe room with one or two beds and $239 for a suite.  

Interested in sponsoring this event?  Click HERE. 


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Like us on Facebook!

Wisconsin Nursery and Landscape Association


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Christopher Ruditys, Executive Director

11801 W. Silver Spring Dr.
Suite 200
Milwaukee, WI  53225
Phone: 414.488.1691
FAX: 888.776.1877 

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