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The Power of Plants: Enriching Lives, Creating Jobs, Building Wealth, Saving Money

Author: Debbie Hamrick, Director Specialty Crops North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation PO Box 27766 Raleigh, NC 27611-7766 (919) 334-2977 Cell: (919) 302-9538 Horticulture positively affects people’s lives where they live, work, shop and play, according to a new report from the National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH) ( The benefits of consumer horticulture are spotlighted in “#PlantsDoThat, Horticulture: The Art, Science, & Business of Plants.” The infographic illustrates how consumer horticulture contributes $196 billion to the U.S. economy and creates more than 2 million jobs. “The story doesn’t just stop at direct economic impact,” said Casey Sclar, NICH Chair. “Consumer and society engagement through plants permeates all aspects of our lives, from providing the aesthetic backdrop to directly enriching our health and well-being.” According to the NICH report, plants benefit society in many ways: Plants in the workplace reduce employee sick time by 14% Well-landscaped homes are more valuable; since homes represent 25% of personal wealth, outdoor plants pack a powerful personal finance punch American’s are growing more of their own food—25% of all Americans grow berries, veggies or fruit trees Shaded roadways save 60% of repaving costs America’s public gardens generate $2.3 billion in tourism spending The National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH) is a consortium of industry leaders who are promoting 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. The Mission of NICH is to grow a healthy world through plants, gardens, and landscapes. #PlantsDoThat—Horticulture: The Art, Science & Business of Plants is... read more

Managing Community Engagement in Hickory, NC

Every year, City Planners across North Carolina ask their citizens to reinvest in their communities by approving bond referendums for projects that will spur economic growth or enhance infrastructure to accommodate rapid population increases. This article spotlights the various tactics that the City of Hickory used to generate support for a bond election to fund projects that would attract millennials and revitalize the community.

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