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Educate Your Local Officials on Organic Land Care

(Beyond Pesticides, February 23, 2007) The National Coalition for Pesticide-Free Lawns is pleased to announce our Organic Land Care Basic Training for Municipal Officials and Transitioning Landscapers. This three-part teleconference starts Wednesday, February 28, and there are only four days left to register! The training will explain the Simple Steps to start an organic turf program and will cover the basic concepts, methods, and materials you need to get started. It is geared toward school, and park and recreation officials. However, landscapers interested in transitioning are welcome to attend.

The market demand for organic land care and availability of organic land care products is following the path of organic food into the mainstream. However, there is still a lack of understanding about what organic land care is, and there are many myths about cost and feasibility. As you will see from the local success stories featured in our Grassroots Action Supplement, organic land care is both a socially responsible and fiscally responsible approach to land management.

To continue the strong trend towards pesticide-free land care, we need municipal officials and landscape professionals who are knowledgeable. Organic land care training opportunities are increasing in pockets of the country, but in general it is difficult for the interested turf manager to find the training and resources needed to get started on an organic land care program. That is why we are pleased to be offering the first online basic organic land care course.

The program will be taught by Chip Osborne, a professional horticulturist with over 30 years experience and an expert on building and transitioning turf to organic care. He is NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association)-accredited in organic land care, and has attended the University of Massachusetts Green School for turf management. Chip has hands-on experience, including the conversion of his retail greenhouse operation to an organic management plan, design and construction of Marblehead’s Living Lawn Demonstration site, and, as the elected Chairman of the Town of Marblehead, Recreation, Parks and Forestry Commission, is currently implementing an Organic Turf Management Plan for the town’s public lands, including all athletic fields.

The cost of the training is only $45 for municipal officials and $95 for professional landscapers. This course will be offered in three 75-minute online sessions: February 28, March 5, and March 14, 2007 (12pm- 1:15pm eastern standard time).

This course is approved for NOFA certification credits.

TAKE ACTION: Send announcement emails and flyers to your local school and park officials, and your local chemical landscaper companies. To register, sign up by Monday, February 26, at www.pesticidefreelawns.org/training or call 202-543-5450.


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