WNLA to dissolve due to COVID-19 financial loss

WNLA to dissolve due to COVID-19 financial loss

The board has determined that the 130-year-old non-profit cannot be sustained without the income of the canceled 2021 Western event.


On Wednesday, Oct. 14, the Western Nursery & Landscape Association released the below announcement:

The historic global pandemic has created numerous challenges and great sadness for many. On August 31, 2020, the Board of Directors of the Western Nursery and Landscape Association, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)6, announced that they had unanimously decided to not have a trade show event in January 2021. 

The annual Western in Kansas City is the main source of income for the Association and without the income of the 2021 Western, the Board has determined that the non-profit Association cannot be sustained. A vote of the members of WNLA has been taken and the membership approved of the dissolution of the Western Nursery & Landscape Association.

Management of the Association by Sarah Woody Bibens, Woody Bibens & Associates, will end on November 15, 2020. To celebrate the legacy of the Western Nursery and Landscape Association, the Board of Directors of WNLA is grateful to AmericanHort for stepping up to help celebrate this long legacy. AmericanHort will offer community, membership, and recognition of the WNLA legacy in the following ways:

• Establish the Western-1890 member group inside AmericanHort to help retain the identity and community of WNLA within the industry.
• Facilitate quarterly communications for Western-1890 members (ex. zoom calls, newsletter, company spotlight)
• $189 introductory membership to AmericanHort*
• Work with Western-1890 members to plan industry events in the region as appropriate and available
• Build a permanent legacy for The Western and WNLA by expanding the existing HRI research fund

  • Invite representatives from WNLA to attend the HRI reception at Cultivate'21 and dedicate agenda time to celebrate the 130-year history of the organization
  • Solicit additional donations to the fund from companies across the industry through asking for pledges that honor the legacy of the WNLA, such as $189 or $1890.

(*Available to new AmericanHort members only.  After the first-year membership rates revert to published AmericanHort Basic membership currently $295)

The very minimal remaining assets of WNLA will be transferred to the Kansas Nursery & Landscape Association, a non-profit corporation and longtime supporter of the WNLA, and the Horticultural Research Institute to build a permanent legacy for The Western and WNLA by expanding the existing HRI research fund established in 1991.

We are saddened that we will not gather for another Western in Kansas City but the legacy of WNLA can live on if our members and supporters are active in a WNLA community inside AmericanHort, our national association who has done so much for our industry.

The Western Nursery and Landscape Association Board of Directors:
Matt Stueck – President
Heather Byers – Vice President 
Virgil Widger – Secretary/Treasurer
Guadalupe "Lupe" Rios – Director
Jessica Montgomery – Director 
Lyndsi Oestmann – Director       
Scott Hillermann – Director        
Jennifer Schamber – Past-President