Landscapers fight for 'essential’ status amid coronavirus outbreak

Landscapers and lawn service businesses are lobbying for 'essential' status as the grass starts growing.

PONTIAC, Mich. – With the stay-at-home order many people are seeing a lot more of their yards and the grass that’s starting to grow.

Not everyone has a lawn mower and many people rely on landscaping services. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said that landscaping contractors will not be given essential status.

READ: Can outdoor maintenance companies operate? Answers to this and more questions about Michigan’s stay-at-home order

This means 93-year-old Rachael Herbst of Bloomfield Hills will have to find another way to handle her lawn. She doesn’t own a lawnmower anymore and didn’t think she would ever have to.

Meanwhile, landscapers are mounting a vigorous defense to fight the decision. Grass cutting season is just under three weeks away.

Tim Travis of Goldner Walsh Garden and Home in Pontiac explained that he and others in his industry have already started working on best practices. A COVID-19 standard that can be presented to lawmakers, industry leaders and other landscapers so that there are new standard operating procedures.

There is some legislative support for the argument that landscapers are essential.

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