NOFA Organic Lawn Certification Courses Set for Northeast
One of the main questions we get here at the SafeLawns Foundation concerns training for professionals. While we offer one-on-one consulting for businesses and municipalities in the U.S. and Canada, there’s no question that best training in a classroom setting in North America comes from the Northeast Organic Farming Association’s accredited Organic Land Care Program (NOFA OLC).
The year’s first classes begin next Monday, Jan. 9 in Worcester, Mass., followed by two other classes in Connecticut and then Rhode Island.
Designed for any land care professional, including school grounds or municipal employees, conservation property managers, master gardeners, entrepreneurs or landscape enthusiasts, the courses focus on how to design and maintain ecological landscapes without the use of toxic pesticides.
More than 1,200 students from 22 different states have taken the courses in the past decade and more than 500 of those students currently maintain organic accreditation. Anyone looking for a qualified organic landscaper can search this database: http://www.organiclandcare.net/aolcp-search.
This five-day, 30-hour course features a faculty of respected scientists and experienced organic land care practitioners. Class topics include: site analysis, design and maintenance; rain gardens and storm water infiltration; soil health; fertilizer and soil amendments; lawn alternatives; wetlands; pest management; wildlife management; disease control; mulches; invasive plants; and, client relations and running a business. Four hands-on case studies are also included in the course and attendees may take an optional exam to become NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals (AOLCPs).
Bill Duesing, Executive Director of Connecticut NOFA and one of NOFA OLC’s founders explains, “Our course instructs students on landscaping that is healthier for people and the environment. Organic land care replaces toxic chemicals that get in our skin, lungs and water with methods that promote biodiversity, create habitat and protect water quality.”
The course is offered three times in 2012:
January 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Worcester State University
February 15, 16, 17, 21, 22
The Connecticut Agricultural Station-New Haven Laboratory
New Haven, CT
February 27, 28, 29, March 1, 2
Kettle Pond Visitor Center
Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge
For information about the Rhode Island and Connecticut course please e-mail Kristiane Huber at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the CT NOFA office at (203) 888-5146. For information about the Massachusetts Course please contact Caro Roszell at email@example.com or (508) 360-0874.