The Rhode Island Nurserymen's Association (RINA) was formed in 1919 by a small group of Rhode Island retail and wholesale nurserymen. In the 1960s RINA realized that landscape members would enhance the organization. A drive was put on and many landscape maintenance and landscape construction firms joined. Also, about this time, many potato farms were going out of business or switching to sod production. They also joined RINA, along with arborists, greenhouse growers and irrigation contractors. Soon RINA came to represent the whole "Green Industry" of Rhode Island. With the ever increasing number of landscaping-related firms joining the association, we decided in the 1990s to change our name to the Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association (RINLA).
RINLA is closely allied with the Environmental Horticulture program in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Rhode Island. Many of our members are graduates of URI. One of our greatest single accomplishments was the donation of a garden to the URI Cooperative Extension Center. This was about a $100,000 donation and was part of URI's 100th birthday. The garden, now named the URI Botanical Gardens, is free and open to the public.
RINLAs goal is to promote the green industry in the State of Rhode Island and to cooperate with similar organizations in other states. In 1966, it consisted of 111 active members and 35 associate members. At the present time, we have more than 269 active members, 104 associate members, 12 honorary members and 25 Professional Affiliates.