Friday, October 7, 2016

Long Island Course to Train Land Care Pros to Provide Toxin-Free Landscaping

 Cornell Cooperative Extension to Host NOFA OLC Training and Accreditation Course

Land care professionals interested in meeting growing demand for toxin-free lawns and yards are invited to attend the Northeast Organic Farming Association’s (NOFA) Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care held at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County in Riverhead on November 7, 8, 14, and 15, 2016

This 30-hour, 4-day course provides a well-rounded curriculum covering organic land care principles, practices, design and maintenance based on NOFA’s  Standards   for Land  Care:  Practices for Design and Maintenance of Ecological Landscapes. First   published   in   2001 and now offered in the fifth edition,  these  Standards extend  the  vision  and  practices  of  organic  agriculture  to  the care of landscapes where we live our daily lives.

CT NOFA is pleased to partner with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County and Perfect Earth Project (PRFCT), a three-year old, East Hampton, Long Island-based non-profit educational organization promoting toxin-free landscape management for the benefit of human and environmental health. Demand for organic land care is increasing rapidly on Long Island due in great part to PRFCT’s community education and outreach underscoring the dangers of synthetic lawn and landscape chemicals. Professional landscapers and designers, along with homeowners, learn about non-toxic practices in PRFCT’s low-cost seminars. “We’re here to help people, to provide resources for them to create their own awareness and share it with others” said PRFCT founder Edwina Von Gal. “We encourage homeowners not to fire the people they’re working with, but to convert them.”
"Landscaping professionals in New England and the Mid-Atlantic states increasingly consider NOFA’s Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care a savvy investment in distinguishing themselves as highly trained experts in the growing market for non-toxic and organic landscaping services."  - Jenna Messier, OLC Program Director
Since 2002, The NOFA Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care has been the definitive professional training course for landscapers, lawn care specialists, municipal groundskeepers, landscape architects and environmental educators to learn and adopt best practices for caring for the land without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Attendees who pass the accreditation exam on November 15 become Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals (AOLCPs), joining over 500 NOFA AOLCPs in 20 states, including 45 in New York.

The roster of course instructors includes Paul Wagner, Director of Soil FoodWeb New York, Inc., a commercial soil microbiology testing laboratory located in Center Moriches, and the owner of Greener Pastures Organics, a Southampton –based landscaping company on “a mission to ‘green-up’ our piece of the world one landscape at a time.”  Wagner has over 20 years’ experience in the green industry and 15 years’ experience in science-based organic tree, shrub and lawn care. His work with soil microbiology provides the scientific basis for successful organic soil management practices and applications. 

CT NOFA enjoys support from partner and co-sponsors Perfect Earth Project and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County along with event sponsors PJC Organics of Massachusetts, Tech Terra Environmental of New Jersey, and Soil FoodWeb NY of Southampton.

The $695 course fee includes course materials, lunches, exam, and supporter level accreditation until January 1, 2018. Early bird registration of $650 ends October 10, 2016. Group discounts of $600 per person for 3 or more employees are available along with payment plans. For more details including a course curriculum, and to register, contact the Northeast Organic Farming Association (CT NOFA) office at 203-308-2584 or visit