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Scott Soares

Scott J. Soares

Commissioner, Department of Agricultural Resources

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energy efficient furnace

This holiday season coincides with the Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association’s (MNLA) 100 year anniversary. Over the years, MNLA has partnered with DAR in efforts to combat Asian Longhorned beetles and other invasive plants and diseases, and to maintain environmentally sustainable industry standards.

To the latter, a number of Massachusetts nurseries have been funded by DAR’s Agriculture Environmental Enhancement Program (AEEP) grant program, which supports the mitigation and/or prevention of negative impacts to natural resources that may result from agricultural practices. Farmers selected to participate are reimbursed for the approved costs of materials up to $30,000 used to “go greener” through implementation of best management practices.

Two examples are Volante Farm in Needham and Lakeview Nurseries in Lunenburg. In operation since 1917, Volante Farm recently installed energy efficient furnaces to help make its nursery and agricultural operation more cost effective and energy efficient. The new furnaces have improved efficiency by more than 10 percent!

solar rooftop array

Lakeview Nurseries is a garden center, nursery, and landscaping company. Lakeview has installed solar panels to reduce the electricity it buys from the grid, and also lessens its impact on the surrounding environment by composting on site and producing perennials in biodegradable pots. Another environmental conservation initiative includes working with its largest nursery stock vendor to return and recycle all of its nursery pots.

To find out more about these and other case histories, click here.

For more information on and locations of Massachusetts nurseries – including many offering holiday gifts and decorations, visit MassGrown & Fresher.



Written By:

As Deputy Director of DOER's Green Communities Division, Lisa helps lead a team devoted to working with Massachusetts cities and towns to realize environmental and cost benefits of municipal energy efficiency and renewable energy. Prior to joining DOER, Lisa worked in the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs from 2007 to 2012, first as Press Secretary and then as Assistant Secretary for Communications and Public Affairs. Her previous communications and public relations experience includes both government and the private sector, where, as principal of upWrite Communications, she served clients such as The Trustees of Reservations, The Nature Conservancy, and Partners Health Care/North Shore Medical Center. She began her career as a journalist, covering Beacon Hill for the State House News Service, and later wrote for a variety of other publications including The Boston Globe, Teacher Magazine, Animals Magazine, and The Gulf of Maine Times. The author of two books, Lisa serves on the board of the Saugus River Watershed Council and resides with her family in Melrose.

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