Learning Opportunities

Learning Hubs

Seeking inspiration? Look no further than our interactive Learning Hubs, sponsored by the founding partners of New England GROWS.

Creating Connections with Houzz  
Get down to business with Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and outdoor design.  Learn how you can optimize your marketing efforts with this uniquely visual -- and easy to use -- networking site.  Come meet the Houzz team, gain insight from their latest consumer trend research and let them set you up with a free profile and consultation.  Bring these with you for instant results: company description, five photos of your work, and e-mail address for reviews & requests! Amp up your social media and marketing with a stop at MLP's Learning Hub.


What's the Buzz? Safe Chain Saw Maintenance & Operation
Careful maintenance and proper operation of chain saws is key to safe and productive tree work.  Meet with ArborMaster trainers including International Tree Climbing Champion, Ken Palmer, and others who will discuss, explain and demonstrate safe chain saw operation with top and rear handle saws as well as new battery technologies.  Try your hand at a timed chain saw teardown competition and the precision face notch and back cut competition. Prizes awarded from Husqvarna, Silky, Oregon, Samson, Buckingham, Vermeer and ArborMaster.


MNLA's 15 Favorite Apps for the Green Industry
There's an app for that! Confused by the thousands of apps and websites that claim they will help you get business done?  Curious about which apps actually work for the green industry?  Here's your chance to check out the apps recommended the most by your industry colleagues.  Try them out and learn how they can help you and your crew operate more efficiently.  You'll walk away with a list of useful mobile tools and resources.


A Look Inside Composting: Nutrients, Minerals & Microbes 
Tne New England Nursery Association, the Composting Council Research & Education Foundation (CCREF), and YOU are uniquely positioned within an industry that touches all aspects of sustainable development and the environment. Sustainable practices, including composting and recycling strategies, have the power to positively influence issues of great environmental importance. Stop by NENA's Learning Hub and see first-hand how composting of organic matter can easily be integrated into your commercial operation, yield environmental benefits like healthy soil and clean water and increased plant vitality, as well as produce a potential, new revenue stream for your business. 

Live Patio Build on Expo Floor!

Wednesday, February 4  & Thursday, February 5
Watch or join in as landscape construction students from the Thompson School at the University of New Hampshire build a raised permeable paver patio over the course of two days -- right on the expo floor.  The intricate patio construction project will feature low voltage lighting, pillar kits, and sitting walls, as well as granite hand chiseling and cutting.  The installation will also include a paver and SRW cleaning & sealing demonstration. Instructor Bill Gardocki will highlight aspects of the build as it relates to installing hardscape projects per ICPI and NCMA industry accepted specifications in 60-minute presentations throughout the day. Visit NewEnglandGrows.org or download the GROWS app in January for a schedule.  This exciting, live hardscape demonstration is sponsored by Techo-Bloc, Alliance Gator, Hulton Tool Company, Pave Tool, and Stateline Irrigation Supply. 

Retailers' Choice Award

Join fellow independent home & garden retailers and The Garden Center Group to single out the products you think have the best sales potential by nominating them for the Retailers' Choice Awards.   On Wednesday, you and your colleagues will scour the show floor to identify the products deserving special recognition for their vision. Tom Kegley, acclaimed retail marketing consultant, will announce the award recipients on Thursday morning and lead a tour of the tradeshow floor that will highlight award winners. This program honors exhibitors for their innovation and helps retailers single out the most innovative products at GROWS.

Bright Ideas Center

"Nobody is as smart as everybody."
-Bill Taylor, founder of Fast Company

Reap the benefits of collaborative know-how when you join colleagues at the Bright Ideas Center, home to offerings such as:

  • Ask Extension
    Here’s your chance for some valuable one-on-one time with Extension personnel from across New England.  Extension experts will be on hand to answer your green industry questions.  Bring your toughest business challenges and get the answers you need to move ahead. Be sure to include Extension in your business arsenal – their research-based information and expertise are valuable resource for the green industry.
    Special thanks to Lois Berg Stack of the University of Maine for helping to coordinate Extension activities at GROWS.
  • Career Center
    If you’re hunting for a job or looking for employees in the green industry, you’ll want to take advantage of this opportunity at GROWS.  From Positions Wanted to Equipment for Sale, bring your best advertisement (8.5” x 11” size limit please) and post it here.  New this year: Hundreds of college and high school students attend GROWS and many are looking for internships with reputable, regional companies.  If you want to attract students to your organization, be sure to add a description of the opportunity to the Internship section of the Career Center.
  • The Bookstore at GROWS
    Education is an ongoing process and our bookstore provides you with the resources you need to keep learning after you leave the conference.  Watch for book signings by some of our renowned speakers.  Expand your reference library and with your purchase of $100 or more, Barnes & Noble will ship your books to you at no charge. 
  • Speaker Book Signings

  • Idea Swaps
    Take advantage of collective wisdom when you join in a quick idea swap conversation or post your best business ideas on the Bright Blue Wall.  Make new connections, introduce ideas to your professional community and come collaborate in a whole new way!
  • Future Leaders Student Gathering Area
    Students from across New England flock to New England GROWS because they know this is where you meet the best in the industry.  This area provides a spot for students to congregate and plan how they’re going to take advantage of all that GROWS has to offer.