MALCP’s Annual Meeting, though smaller than last year’s, which included the Healthy Soils Listening Session, was a success. People were very engaged and the discussions were lively.
President Steve Bukoff opened the meeting thanking the Board and MALCP’s staff for their dedicated work throughout the year. The 2021 Winter Lawn Care Conference Committee is working on a virtual WLCC. More details will be coming soon. The opening day of proposed webinars is scheduled for January 21. Please mark your calendars!
The 2020 MALCP Silent Auction was very successful. We anticipate making it larger in 2021 with the help of generous donors and active bidding participants. It was a fun event, similar to those when the concept first began.
Karen reported that MALCP had a positive year! We worked with Steve Boksanski and GIA to ensure that Green Industries were able to work as Essential, we participated in hearings and legislative outreach. The 2020 WLCC offered high level education. Holding the Golf Classic was a breath of fresh air for all and helped us financially. The Silent Auction brought in new participants, was fun in execution and helped MALCP financially. The Healthy Soils project was intense. Lawn Care made a tremendous positive impression on policy and environmental based people who came to know a group of educated, enthusiastic people who were actually helping in the cause of carbon sequestration. As with all associations, MALCP must be diligent in dues payments, attending educational offerings and supporting MALCP financially. Marcia continues to help make MALCP work in many ways. We are grateful to have her with us. “Karen’s Thank You’s”, this year went to four Over Achievers: President Steve Bukoff for his endless hours and attention to detail; Bob Mann for his generosity and willingness to go the extra mile; Jimmie Connelly for safeguarding all of Malcp’s things and spearheading events; and Ted Wales for his diligence and time devoted to Healthy Soils and other special projects. We are grateful to all of you for your work and dedication!
Ted Wales and Karen spoke about the Healthy Soils project-18 months long. The outcome was a well written evidence based report with an action plan that did not totally reflect that focus. We submitted final comments. It has moved to the EEA for review and will then head to the Governor’s office. We anticipate Healthy Soils legislation to be reintroduced in the new session that does not correspond with the actual report Ted also described new UMass research on bumblebee health.
Jason Lanier informed us that there remained a hiring freeze in place at UMass. There are many positions open in the Green Industries sector and retirees must be replaced.
The group lamented the continuing lack of qualified personnel to fill the many jobs in the professional Lawn Care sector. Discussion turned to reaching out more to Trades Schools, high schools, and guidance counselors. Lawn Care encompasses many positive skill sets including the ability to problem solve, communicate, and sell. Acquiring and maintaining a license is a valuable indication of continuing science based skills and knowledge
Steve Boksanski reported that the legislatures’ work has been focused on the many COVID issues’ including the budget. MA large Rainy Day fund has come in very handy this year and should benefit MA in 2021. Keeping Lawn Care and the Green Industries working in the Essential Services realm was a top priority and we were thankfully able to achieve that designation at the beginning of the season. 2021 is the beginning of a new legislative session. All the bills, including those trying to overthrow the Preemption Law, banning Neonics and other chemicals are expected to be reintroduced. Steve thanked Karen and those who reach out to inform their legislators of the science based reasons for our positions, for their diligence and help in keeping positive legislation in the forefront.
Bob Mann, former MALCP president and current director of State and Local Affairs for NALP provided a brief presentation on the many tools that the National Association of Landscape Professionals offers to Lawn Care and Landscape pros for you to connect with your legislators on topics of concern to you. Remember-Your legislator is there to listen to your perspective on issues of interest to you. Bob told us that ZOOM provides a great opportunity to interact with your legislator.
Please contact us with your legislative and regulatory questions. Click image below to connect to NALP’s Website for more information.
Thanks to all who participated in MALCP activities in 2020. Reach out to new members and continue to participate in MALCP activities.
Peace and Stay Well,
Karen and MALCP Admin. Staff