Wednesday, November 20, 2013

LISFF Grant Award Fuels NOFA OLCs Effort to Drve the Demand for Organic Lawns

Last month I attended the Long Island Sound Future Fund Grant Event hosted by National Fish & Wildlife Service and US EPA at The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT.  I arrived dressed in my Red Sox jacket, optimistic that my team would win the World Series and they did it! OLC Program coordinator Jenna Messier and I were thrilled to be surrounded by all the enthusiasm of fellow grantees that like NOFA OLC had been awarded a LISFF Grant! 

We had the the chance to connect with Ann Marie Lisi who heads up the Water Quality Demonstration Station on site.  We shared more information about organic land care, the NOFA OLC Program and the network of Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals that adhere to stricter OLC Standards than other landscape contractors. 
This week we were invited back to do an in-service training workshop. Fellow AOLCP Tom Barry, Grounds Manager and Field Specialist at Greens Farms Academy in Westport, Connecticut taught grass selection, soil testing and fertilization.  I taught the group about good cultural practices and social marketing the message of organic land care.   There are different kinds of lawn care consumers.  Some folks are really focused on health concerns, while others really care about the bottom line and the return on investment of an organic lawn.  Putting organic lawns in the same league as other sustainability successes like fuel efficient cars, energy saving light bulb and non toxic house cleaners helps organic lawns gain more widespread acceptance.

Just as I was optimistic about the Sox winning the championship, I’m optimistic our team of Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals will win over more homeowners to an organic approach next season!  Thanks to the LISFF Grant, I’m grateful to be working with the NOFA OLC Program to educate homeowners and landscape contractors on organic fertilization and cultural best practices for the protection of Long Island Sound.  Additionally, I’m thrilled to share effective social marketing strategies with AOLCP’s to drive the demand for organic land care for the health of the Long Island Sound and the health of the green, local economy. 

Here's the first peek at the Ten Steps to an Organic Lawn fact sheet to be distributed  TMA in NorwalkCT. The Water Quality Demonstration will be distributing this along with free soil testing information to help visitors on the road to adopting organic lawn care best practices on their yard. We value your feedback!

I really look forward to seeing you at the Annual Gathering on December 11th in Southbury, CT.  Please stop by the NOFA OLC table to receive another new tool we’re rolling out for all AOLCP's: Fertilizer Application Best Practices for the Landscape Contractor Thanks to the LISFF Grant we’re bringing more tools to get your game on to win more homeowners over to an organic approach on their lawn next spring!