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Contact: Cassie Carver , (651) 633-4987

Gordie Bailey rides again in Minnesota Tour de Plants!

Gordon Bailey Jr., chairman of the board of Bailey Nurseries Inc. of St. Paul, Minn., will bike 1,000 plus miles this summer in the “Tour de Plants” to raise both money and awareness about horticultural research and education funded by the MNLA Foundation. The MNLA Foundation is a sister organization of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association which represents the state's $2.1 billion nursery and landscape industry. MNLA 's members include nursery growers; flower growers; garden centers; landscape design, installation and maintenance firms; professional gardening services; irrigation professionals; and the suppliers who serve all of these companies. Bailey Nurseries Inc. is one of the nation's largest growers of nursery stock. Founded in 1905, Bailey's management today includes the third and fourth generations of the family.

Bailey, 70, will build on the success of his “Tour de Hort” experience, wherein he helped spearhead don ations totaling over $1,250,000 for the Horticultural Research Institute, the research arm of the American Nursery & Landscape Association. In Tour de Hort, he rode from Oregon to Minnesota in the summer of 1999; from Minnesota to Cleveland in 2001; and from Cleveland to Boston in 2003.

Tour de Plants will start near Hastings , Minn. , on July 21st. The ride will first go south towards Rochester , then west to Mankato and Redwood Falls , north to the Crookston area before it turns back east to go through Duluth and south to St. Paul . Bailey's wife, Jo, will accompany him, providing cold beer and other essentials. A number of MNLA members, including MNLA President Tim Power, Law's Nursery, are expected to join Bailey for parts of the bike ride. Anyone interested in providing moral support by riding along or in providing financial support should contact MNLA Education Director Meaghan Phelan at 651-633-4987 or .

Contributions made to the MNLA Foundation fund programs and research that are important to the future success of green industry companies in the north central region. The Foundation invests in industry-directed research on nursery and greenhouse production systems; plant pest and disease problems; development of new plants; better landscape design, installation and maintenance methods; horticultural marketing and management; and much more.

The MNLA Foundation also helps to provide resources and support to schools that provide horticultural and landscape technology education.

To find a garden center or landscape professional in your area, visit Minnesota's on-line gardening resource, GardenMinnesota.com.

The Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association is the state's largest green industry trade association with more than 1,500 member businesses including garden centers; landscape contractors and designers; tree and flower growers; irrigation contractors; and lawn, tree, and garden services.

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