Need help? Many Green Industry organizations operate Web sites that are chocked full of news and information, data and statistics, downloadable publications and reports, online tools and educational offerings that are available to nonmembers. A number of them offer referral services or online member directories. Some make it easy for you to “ask an expert” by sending an e-mail.

Business and Trade organizations

A list of nonprofit organizations that support, assist and represent the interests of businesses and business owners. These are great resources for the landscape contractor, gardener, or lawn care professional.

Landscape and Garden associations

A list of professional membership and other organizations throughout the world that exclusively focus on the needs and interests of professional gardeners, landscape contractors and irrigation specialists. If you are starting your business or already operate as a gardener, landscape maintenance, grounds maintenance, or other Green Industry professional then these organizations are for you.

Design-related organizations

A list of trade associations, design groups (industrial, commercial, etc.) and other organizations with links to the landscape design community.

If you are a Green Industry organization and would like a free listing in ProGardenBiz, please send us an email.


ProGardenBiz Spotlight on:

The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS)

Established in 1911 as a professional society for the individual with the purpose of education and professional advancement. The majority of PGMS members are institutional grounds managers who work for organizations such as colleges and universities, municipalities, park and recreation facilities, office parks, apartment complexes, hotels/motels, cemeteries, theme parks, etc. In addition, many independent landscape contractors are also in membership. With over 1,200 members worldwide, PGMS’ mission is uniting and serving Green Industry professionals and others through education and environmental awareness.

The Professional Grounds Management Society is the oldest organization in the service sector of the Green Industry with membership representing the broadest range of Green Industry Professionals. Through its local and national events as well as its publications, PGMS brings together top-level Green Industry Professionals from around the country. Our members are the decision makers and purchasing agents in control of departmental budgets over $4 million.

The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization dedicated to serving and advancing managers of grounds for all specialities and disciplines. The ultimate goal of PGMS is to place its members on the cutting edge of leadership in the Green Industry by developing techniques and management skills to assure an outstanding grounds management program for their respective organization, agency, department, firm or employer and to upgrade the level of the profession.

The benefits of PGMS Membership include:

  • Annual Conference and Green Industry Expo (GIE) - A partner in the industry’s most dynamic Green Industry Exposition, PGMS conducts its acclaimed annual education conference with the GIE. This yearly forum brings together grounds managers, educators and suppliers for the sharing of knowledge and ideas. PGMS members receive a reduced registration fee.
  • Forum Newsletter - The bi-monthly publication of PGMS, the Forum helps keep members current on the affairs of the Society and provides helpful management and technical information and techniques.
  • Membership Directory - Distributed each summer this publication lists the names and addresses of all PGMS members alphabetically as well as by state. It’s a great resource for maximizing the networking value of membership.
  • Research and Surveys - Members receive a complimentary copy of the annual salary and benefits survey in addition to complimentary of discounted purchase fees for other statistical surveys conducted by PGMS.
  • Awards - PGMS and Landscape Management magazine co-sponsor the annual Green Star Awards program in recognition of excellence in grounds management. PGMS members receive a substantially discounted submission fee opportunity.
  • Education Manuals - PGMS members receive a complimentary copy of three outstanding tools: Grounds Maintenance Estimating Guidelines, Grounds Management Guidelines and Grounds Management Forms & Job Descriptions Guide as well as a $50 discount off the purchase of the green industry’s acclaimed Operational Guidelines for Grounds Management.
  • Certified Grounds Manager - Step up and elevate your professional stature. Grounds managers who want to stand out and be recognized proudly include the “CGM” designation as an addendum to your name.
  • Local Branches - Many PGMS members have banded together to organize local branches for the purposes of providing easily accessible programs and networks.

Contact PGMS

If you have any questions or concerns please contact PGMS. They are happy to talk to you and answer any questions you may have.

Thomas C. Shaner, CAE
Executive Director PGMS
720 Light Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
TEL: (410) 752-3318
FAX: (410) 752-8295

Milton “Dusty” Hallman, CGM
President PGMS
Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park
2853 Sunset Point Road
Clearwater, FL 33759
TEL: (727) 796-1992 ext. 232
FAX: (727) 799-9412

Information Courtesy of the PGMS. For more information see the PGMS website.

It Pays to Join a Green Industry Professional or Trade Association

Want to do something great for your landscaping or garden business? Consider joining a professional or trade association! There is a professional or trade association for almost any field in the Green Industry you can mention and you can join at any time.

Professional and Trade Associations are organized around a  functional area or a field of interest.  Some organizations will cover a wide area such as for Landscape Contractors, but members will provide services in contracting, installation, lawn maintenance, irrigation, sprinklers, waterscape, interiorscape, nursery, design, grounds maintenance, and more. Other associations will be more specific and will cover more narrow, but related fields.

Generally they are national or state associations that sponsor local “chapters” around the country or state.  The local chapters hold periodic meetings, special events, and sponsor trade shows, seminars, and other events.   For instance, a professional association might hold a monthly dinner meeting in a local hotel which offers members a chance to network with other professionals in that functional area, followed by a lecture on a current topic of professional interest.
Why join a professional association?   The main reason people join is to network.   These meetings allow you to meet people in similar positions in other companies, and to learn about their jobs and those companies, and sometimes to learn about hot opportunities.  Some professionals find that having a network of friends and acquaintances in other companies who can offer advice is useful when they are facing a tough challenge on the job. The professional association meetings also allow you to practice your business etiquette so that you are well-prepared for your own meetings.

Another reason to join a professional or trade association is that the lectures and other training opportunities offer you the chance to stay on top of cutting-edge topics in your field. Many groups offer certification programs and training opportunities for your employees.   The people who are speaking at professional meetings are often working in leading-edge companies who are paving the way in terms of new ideas and approaches.   Consequently, attending these meetings will give you an advantage over your competitors in terms of your job-related knowledge.

Group Dynamics - Joining a professional or trade association could set your business agenda in motion.  The December 2002 issue of Entrepreneur reviews the benefits of trade associations. 

Why Join a Professional Association?

A Green Industry Professional or Trade Association membership is a MUST in today’s competitive business environment. Your future colleagues, customers and competitors recognize the value of professional affiliations - show them that you’re the PROFESSIONAL they’re looking for.

If you strategically choose a few associations to join and become actively involved with them, you’ll soon earn great career dividends, says “Going the Extra Mile”, National Business Employment Weekly.

How Professional and Trade Associations can assist your business planning!

An association of members (people working in a particular industry) represents most professions. These professional associations perform a variety of functions, which could include;

  • Establishing and monitoring industry standards and professional codes of practice.
  • Advising educational institutions on curriculum development.
  • Promoting and providing professional and business development activities.
  • Providing a forum for networking of members.
  • Promoting the profession in the community.
  • Providing career information to prospective students.
  • Assisting graduates with career planning and job seeking.
  • Maintaining a professional library for members.
  • Producing a regular publication on professional and industry issues (i.e. newsletter or magazine/journal).

Why join?

Business people in any field of the Green Industry can benefit from membership of a professional or trade association. By participating in the activities of the association you can gain practical experience and meet other professionals already working in the field. Through involvement with a professional or trade association you could also:

  • Increase your knowledge of the profession and industry.
  • Increase your knowledge of other companies and organizations.
  • Learn about day-to-day issues you will face in the work-place.
  • Remain up-to-date with developments in the field.
  • Network with prospective colleagues.
  • Socialize with fellow business people who share similar interests and goals.
  • Develop skills through participation in professional development activities.
  • Work for the association on projects and develop new skills.
  • Improve your business etiquette and communication skills.

There are some excellent reasons for joining one in your chosen field.

Professional and trade associations publish journals and/or newsletters (which often are a benefit of membership) are helpful to:

  • Keep you up-to-date on issues and developments in your field.
  • Show you who the “movers and shakers” are in your field.
  • Tell you out about companies, or individuals, with whom you would like to work.
  • Offer information about upcoming conferences and professional development opportunities.
  • Professional associations often have some mechanism for sharing job listings. This could be a “classified” section in the journal or newsletter, a section on a web site, or a separate publication available to members only.
  • As a member, you will be eligible to attend the group’s conferences. Whether at the state, regional, or national level, professional and trade conferences offer excellent opportunities to:
    • Build your network of professionals in the field.
    • Learn the latest developments in your field.
    • Take professional courses and seminars.

Do your future a favor. Seek out and join the Green Industry professional or trade association in your area of business.

How to find out more…

Use the Professional Association listings on this web site.

Landscape and Garden Associations

American Horticultural Society (AHS)
7931 East Boulevard Drive
Alexandria, VA 22308 USA
Phone: 703/768-5700
Fax: 703/768-8700

American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA)
1000 Vermont Ave. NW, Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20005 USA
Phone: 202/789-2900
Fax: 202/789-1893

Aquatic Plant Management Society (APMS)
P.O. Box 1477
Lehigh, FL 33970-1477 USA
Phone: 941/694-1129
Arizona Landscape Contractors Association (AZLCA)
331 N. First Avenue, Suite 250
Phoenix, AZ 85003 USA
Phone: 602/258-0126
Fax: 877/616-2486
Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA)
150 Elden Street, Suite 270
Herndon, VA 20170 USA
Phone: 703/736-9666; 800/395-2522
Fax: 703/736-9668
Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC)
5290 East Yale Center, Suite 100
Denver, CO 80222 USA
Phone: 303/757-5611
Fax: 303/757-5636
Association for Women in Horticulture (AWH)
P.O. Box 75093
Seattle, WA 98125-0093 USA
Phone: 206/781-7741
California Interior Plantscape Association (CIPA)
493 S. Highland Ave
Ukiah, CA 95482-4633 USA
Phone: 707/462-2276
Fax: 707/463-6699
Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS)
720 Light Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
Phone: 800/609-PGMS
Fax: 410/752-8295

Washington Association of Landscape professionals (WALP)
1723 100th Place SE, Suite C,
Everett, WA, 98208-3800
Phone: 425/385-3333
Fax: 425/385-3344


Design Related Organizations

American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
636 Eye Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001-3736 USA
Phone: 202/898-2444
Fax: 202/898-1185
Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD)
1924 N. Second Street
Harrisburg, PA 17107 USA
Phone: 717/238-9780
Fax: 717/238-9985

Business and Trade Organizations

The Council of
Better Business Bureaus
4200 Wilson Blvd, Suite 800
Arlington, VA 22203-1838 USA
Phone: 703/276-0100
Fax: 703/525-8277
Email: See Website