2024 Down to Earth Summer Conference & Trade Show

Register as an attendee or exhibitor on or before Sunday, June 30, 2024 and SAVE $$$!

Thursday, July 25, 2024
Wachusett Mountain, Westminster

Register on or before Sunday, June 30, 2024 for the most savings as an attendee or vendor!

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Please note: All registrations are transferable within a company; they are however non-refundable.

Down to Earth is a great opportunity to recognize, empower and thank your teams by giving them access for networking, professional development and fun.

Earn up to 3 MCH credits!

Scroll down to learn more about attendee options, educational sessions, vendor options and sponsor opportunities.


Event sponsors

Educational Sponsor
Container Challenge Sponsor
Ski Lift Sponsor
Ski Lift Sponsor
Ski Lift Sponsor

8:30am

educational speaker Marianne WillburnTropical Fusion: Playing With Tropical and Subtropical Plants in Temperate Climates • Granite Room • Marianne Willburn, author/columnist/speaker • Many gardeners are hesitant to purchase tropical and subtropical plants, fearing the creation of gaudy Victorian bedding schemes and a houseful of winter refugees. Using four memorable categories from her award-winning book “Tropical Plants and How to Love Them,” Marianne will focus on how to incorporate some spectacular examples in containers and beds and help attendees discern which are the easiest to overwinter for the home gardener.

educational speaker Kasey EavesCreating a Team of Natural Garden Stewards • Maple Room • Kasey Eaves, Vivant Gardening Services • In naturalistic and native landscapes the expectations and demands on your team can feel limitless. Kasey will share what she’s learned hiring and guiding her team of natural garden stewards.


educational speakers chris kennedy and jim connollyWhat’s New in Solution Central • Tented Area • Chris Kennedy, MCH, Kennedy’s Country Gardens and Jim Connolly, MCH, Weston Nurseries • Summer conference exhibitors have the tools, services and products to help you succeed! Explore what’s new, improved and exciting!


9:30am

educational speaker Trevor SmithWater Featured: The Addition and Importance of Water in the Landscape • Granite Room • Trevor Smith, Design and Education Manager, Weston Nurseries • Patio ponds, fountains, pondless waterfalls and ponds—there is a water feature for every landscape and budget. We don’t see more water in the landscape due to lack of understanding when it comes to application, installation and the important role water plays in our clients enjoyment as well as supporting habitat.

educational speaker Sam CorcoranSoil Lab FAQs: Classics and Emerging Trends • Maple Room • Sam Corcoran, Ph.D., UMass Extension Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Lab • Discuss both classic and newly emerging FAQs. Topics will include: assessing soil health, understanding different soil preparations (Mehlich versus Modified Morgan), understanding and managing over-fertilized soils, integrating cover crops, filling and testing raised beds, assessing the impact of Asian jumping worms and testing soil for lead. Pesticide credit requested


9:30am & 10:15am

MNLA Director Deborah Trickett, MCH The Captured GardenBattle of the Container Gardeners • Tented Area • Deborah Trickett, The Captured Garden • Ready, set, plant— the gloves are on! Join Deborah for the third annual competition and education! Contestants will be challenged to create a container garden using provided materials. Deborah will highlight container gardening trends and pick the brains of contestants during the competition.


11:00am

educational speaker Heather PoireSome Like It HOT! Heat Loving Annuals and Perennials • Granite Room • Heather Poire, Proven Winners • Learn about some incredible heat-loving annuals and perennials with Proven Winners’ Heather Poire. She will walk us through the varieties that enjoy those Southwestern spaces in your gardens and will highlight plants that like it HOT and have outstanding gardening performance all season long.


David Anderson, MNLA secretary/treasurerPruning Decision Process: the Why, When, and How With a Hands-on Demonstration • Maple Room • David Anderson, MCA, MCLP, CTSP, Mayer Tree Service • Pruning can be very subjective and there a few key factors that should be determined before you start. Learn to create a plan for each specific plant to yield the best results and minimize mistakes that may cause harm.


1:00pm

educational speaker Kasey EavesChoosing Native Plants for Non-Native Spaces • Granite Room • Kasey Eaves, Vivant Gardening Services • Clients are asking for native plants but the location for them is anything but natural. This is a common conundrum faced by nursery professionals, retail centers and landscape professionals and yet the questions of how remain mostly unanswered. We will explore the strategic use of native plant species in city containers, rooftops and parkways in this session tailored for those working on the front lines of landscaping. Bring your thinking caps and personal experiences as we solve this puzzle amongst fellow professionals.

educational speaker Jennifer Forman OrthInvasive Pests: Today & Tomorrow • Maple Room • Jennifer Forman Orth, Ph.D., Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) • Get the latest information about invasive plant pests impacting nurseries and landscaping companies Topics will include spotted lanternfly, elm zigzag sawfly and an update on the boxtree moth quarantine. Pesticide credit requested


2:00pm

educational speaker Marianne WillburnTropical Accents for Inspiring Containers • Granite Room • Marianne Willburn, author/columnist/speaker • Learn tips and techniques specific to growing tropical plants in containers to get decks, patios, and balconies ready for a fabulous summer season!


educational speaker Dave EpsteinLooking to Our Future Climate and Why Things Are Changing So Fast • Maple Room • Dave Epstein, meteorologist • Dave will look at the current climate situation and outline prediction models for our climate in the coming decades as well as reasons why things are changing. The session will also go into detail on how long-range climate models work. Participants should expect to leave with a better understanding of climate change and the impacts it can have on the landscaping industry.

Register on or before Sunday, June 30, 2024 for the most savings!

Pricing

MNLA members always get the best rate in addition to other member only benefits! Want to learn more? Click here to see which membership option is ideal for your business and join before registering for this event to SAVE $$$!

MNLA members

$75/person when registering on or before Sunday, June 30
$95/person when registering on or before Monday, July 22
$115/person after Monday, July 22

MCH non-members

$85/person when registering on or before Sunday, June 30
$105/person when registering on or before Monday, July 22
$125/person after Monday, July 22

Non-members

$95/person when registering on or before Sunday, June 30
$115/person when registering on or before Monday, July 22
$135/person after Monday, July 22

Full-time student/children (12 and under)

$25/person

Battle of the Container Garden Designers

$35/person
Please note, all competitors must also be registered for the summer conference.

Register on or before Tuesday, July 18, 2024 in order to participate!

You are invited to compete for a chance to be crowned “MNLA Container Garden Designer of the Year!”

Participation in the competition is only $35 per entry (one entry per person). Participants need to be registered for the full Down to Earth Summer Conference & Trade Show program. Winners will be announced at the Down to Earth AFTER PARTY at 3:00pm.

People's Choice Award

1st prize: $250
2nd prize: $125
3rd prize: $75
4th prize: $35

ALL competitors will be entered into a drawing for the chance to win several donated prizes by our sponsors. Must be present to win!

Rules & Regulations

  1. Pre-registration is required on or before July 18, 2024 at $35 per entry (one entry per person.
  2. Qualifications: This competition is open to ALL who want the chance to be crowned MNLA’s Container Garden Designer of the Year. Registration to the MNLA Down to Earth Summer Conference & Trade Show is a prerequisite to register for the container competition.
  3. Assembly: Container gardens will be assembled on-site in one of the following time slots: 9:30am or 10:15am. Participants will have approximately 30 minutes to complete their design. Plant material will be provided.
  4. The completed work must:
    1. Be set up within the container supplied;
    2. Must use the plants supplied;
    3. Must use the soil provided;
    4. Only include 1 plant/prop from private arsenal.
  5. Judging will be held on July 25 (12:00–2:00pm) by event attendees for the People’s Choice Award. Winners will be announced at 3:00pm on-site at the Down to Earth AFTER PARTY (FREE to all registered attendees).
  6. Photographs of all entries will be taken. By entering the competition, entrants give full permission for all photos by MNLA and its agents to be used in newsletters, social media, website, display, promotional and educational purposes.
  7. The decision of the judges is final.

Pricing

$35/person
Please note, all competitors must also be registered for the summer conference.

Allied Equipment LLC

Charter Oak Landscape & Nursery Sales

Ideal Concrete Block Co., Inc.

MTE Equipment Solutions

NYP Corporation

OESCO, Inc.

Pierson Nurseries, Inc.

Rimol Greenhouse Systems

New vendors will be added as they register.

Interested in showcasing your products and services? Click the Vendor Options block below to learn more and see the Register Online at the top of the page to reserve your booth space today!

Register on or before Sunday, June 30, 2024 and save $100 off your booth!

MNLA members always get the best rate in addition to other member only benefits! Want to learn more? Click here to see which membership option is ideal for your business and join before registering for this event to SAVE $$$!

Vendor booth registrants will receive:

  • Two full event registrations
  • Choice of an 8' x 8' indoor or 10' x 10' outdoor booth (10' x 20' booths are an additional $150 and outdoor only)
  • One 5' table with two chairs (all outdoor booths receive an 8' table with two chairs)

Click here for a downloadable pdf with additional exhibitor details. 

Pricing

MNLA members

$600 for a 8' x 8' indoor booth or a 10' x 10' outdoor booth (select indoor or outdoor when registering)

$750 for a 10' x 20' outdoor booth*

Non-members

$850 for a 8' x 8' indoor booth or a 10' x 10' outdoor booth (select indoor or outdoor when registering)

$1,000 for a 10' x 20' outdoor booth*

*All 10' x 20' booths are outdoor only. Great for trucks, trailers, mowers, and vendors looking for more space to exhibit. Vendors are encouraged to bring their own pop-up tents for outdoor exhibits.

All sponsorships include recognition at the event, in email marketing and on the MNLA website.

Pricing

Container Garden Sponsorships

$2,000 sponsor of the Container Garden Competition includes the donation of plant material for the competition. This sponsorship level includes an indoor or outdoor booth space, two (2) registrations, and entitles you to be featured during every educational session, on MNLA.com and our social media platforms, email marketing for the event, and on signage during the event. Available sponsorships four (4); first come first serve.

$1,000 sponsor of the Container Garden Competition includes the donation of plant material or pots for the competition. This sponsorship level includes an indoor or outdoor booth space, two (2) registrations, and entitles you to be featured during the container garden competition, on MNLA.com and our social media platforms, email marketing for the event, and on signage during the event. Available sponsorships four (4); first come first serve.

The following two sponsorships are a great way to add extra value to your presence at the Summer Conference and/or highlight your business if you find that your schedule does not allow you to exhibit.

Educational Sponsor $500

This sponsorship level highlights your company in our educational sessions, on MNLA.com and our social media platforms, in email marketing for the event, and on signage during the event.

Lunch Sponsor $500

This sponsorship level will entitle you to be featured at the food area, on MNLA.com and on signage during the event.

DISCLAIMER: Although every reasonable effort is made to provide the speakers, topics, and sessions listed, some changes or substitutions may occur. Speakers and sessions are subject to cancellation or change up to and including the day the session(s) are scheduled to be held. Changes or cancellations are made at the discretion of MNLA and may be done without notifying attendees. If sessions are changed or canceled no refunds should be expected. Submission of the registration form acknowledges acceptance of this provision.

Partner programs

Plant Something MA

consumers planting something

Plant Something MA is a project of MNLA which includes professional environmental horticulturists—people who grow, care for, design and install plantings and landscapes in your community.

Growing Wild

Growing WIld: native plants in massachusetts

Growing Wild helps reverse the loss of biological diversity, foster and protect endangered species and add to the natural beauty of our Commonwealth—right in your own backyard.

Not an MNLA member?

annual meeting of the Massachusetts nursery and landscape association

There are many reasons to join MNLA.

MNLA provides access to green industry speakers on the cutting-edge and up-to-date information. Our dynamic community is made up of folks from all walks of life. Colleagues share advice and insights. Passion for the betterment of our community drives member participation in MNLA. Individual contribution is valued. Get involved! Join a committee or volunteer at an event. Make our industry—and your business—better!

annual meeting of the Massachusetts nursery and landscape association