The National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH) creates a unified voice to promote the benefits and value of horticulture. NICH brings together academia, government, industry, and nonprofits to cultivate the growth and development of a healthy world through landscapes, gardens, and plants – indoors and out.

This movement nurtures a passion and appreciation for plants and increases the demand for gardening, from horticultural grants at universities to attendance at public gardens to foot traffic in garden centers.

What’s in it for me?

More consumers create more demand, more sales, more engagement, more funding, more relevancy, and longevity.

Greater collaboration leads to more efficiency, power, and impact with decision makers.

Comprehensive research demonstrates the social, economic and environmental benefits of consumer horticulture.

Increased awareness promotes the vital role gardening plays in a healthy lifestyle, healthy community, and healthy world.

What are the financial impacts of NICH?

By developing a cohesive voice, we will position consumer horticulture to be more successful in leveraging public funding to use to grow the entire industry – from conducting comprehensive industry-wide research to implementing prioritized objectives. Be assured, this is not a marketing promotional order.

Who is involved?

The current group of industry leaders includes researchers, extension agents, master gardeners, non-profits, growers, retailers and industry providers.

How can I help?

  • Join our listserv to stay informed
  • Offer your perspective or advice to a NICH council
  • Spread the message of NICH to consumer horticulture collaborators and friends
  • Get Involved with a committee that suits your time and talent
  • Recommend someone who should be involved

Inaugural Executive Committee

  • Chair: Casey Sclar, Ph.D., Executive Director, American Public Gardens Association
  • Co-Chairs: Dr. Ellen Bauske, University of Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture; and Tom Underwood, Executive Director, American Horticultural Society
  • Secretary: Dr. Gail Langellotto, Associate Professor, Oregon State University Urban and Community Horticulture Extension, Statewide Master Gardener Coordinator
  • Marketing: Susan McCoy, President, Garden Media Group
  • USDA Liaison: Tom Bewick, National Program Leader, USDA

Inaugural Committee and Council Chairs

  • Academic/Government Council: Rick Durham, Extension Professor, University of Kentucky
  • Industry Council: Clint Albin, President, Clint Albin Consulting
  • Community Committee: Pam Bennett, Associate Professor, State Master Gardener Volunteer Program Director, Ohio State University
  • Economic Committee: Debbie Hamrick, Director of Specialty Crops, North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation
  • Environmental Committee: Julie Weisenhorn, Associate Extension Professor, Depart of Horticultural Sciences, University of Minnesota
  • Non-Profit Council: Shannon Spurlock, Director of Public Affairs and Policy, Denver Urban Gardens; and Tom Underwood, Executive Director, American Horticulture Society

Join us today, and help grow consumer horticulture.

We are actively seeking the next generation of NICH leaders and influencers. Let us know how you would like to be involved.


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