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Thousands ask governor to open garden centers

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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 on Monday. The names of the supporters and their comments will be provided to the governor by PLNA. The petition can be seen on change.org/OpenPaGardenCenters.

A recent survey revealed that 77 percent 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 percent 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.

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