Over 15,000 Pennsylvanians are asking Gov. Tom Wolf to allow their local
independent family-owned garden centers to open. Wolf in his COVID-19
executive order required that independent garden centers be closed.
The petition was started on April 14 by the Pennsylvania Landscape &
Nursery Association (PLNA), which represents garden centers,
greenhouses, nurseries and landscape contractors in Pennsylvania.
The petition surpassed 15,000 supporters today. The names of the
supporters and their comments will be provided to the governor by PLNA.
The petition can be seen on www.change.org/OpenPaGardenCenters
. A recent
survey revealed that 77% of adults spend time gardening around their
homes. More than one third grow some of their own food, a proportion
that will surely increase during the COVID crisis.
Independent family-owned garden centers are at a critical time in their
year. Most make up to 75% of their annual revenue during the spring
months of April-June. The spring season carries them throughout the rest
of the year. The problem also extends to the greenhouses and nurseries
that supply the garden centers with vegetable plants, annuals and other
plants. With the garden centers closed, the greenhouses and nurseries
the grew the plants are left holding plants that soon will be ruined and
unmarketable. All of Pennsylvania’s surrounding states have allowed
garden centers to open – Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland
and West Virginia.