Record Setting Attendance Demonstrates Increasing Demand for Organic Land Care

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Ashley Kremser

akremser@ctnofa.org

Stevenson, CT August 2008 - The NOFA Organic Land Care Program experienced record-breaking attendance at the 4th annual Organic Lawn & Turf Courses held last month in New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut.  Over 190 professionals attended this full day event in organic lawn and turf grass management, demonstrating the ever-increasing demand for organic land care services by homeowners and towns throughout the region.

The NOFA Organic Land Care Program is a project of the Northeast Organic Farming Association) (NOFA) with the mission of extending the vision and principles of organic agriculture to the care of the landscapes where people live, work, and play.  The NOFA Lawn & Turf Course is open to all landscape professionals & municipal workers and provides state-of-the-art information for managing lawns and turf organically.

The NOFA Organic Lawn & Turf Course was held in Dartmouth, MA, in Manchester, CT and in Hillsborough, NJ. The New Jersey course, offered for the first time this year, was at capacity, with 40 professionals in attendance.  The Massachusetts course saw 63 professionals and the Connecticut course had 92 students attend. Course students included landscape designers, landscape architects, landscapers, educators/activists and 17 municipal employees from 3 states.  They ranged in age from their early 20’s to their mid-70s and came from Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

This Winter, the NOFA Organic Land Care Program will offer its very popular, comprehensive five-day organic land care accreditation course in five states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and for the first time, New York and New Jersey as well.

The 8th annual NOFA Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care is a 30-hour course for professionals that provides the education needed for an understanding of organic land care design and maintenance. An optional exam will be given at the conclusion of the course. Those who pass the exam can become NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals. 

Currently, these courses have accredited over 400 professionals in 18 different states.  With the expansion of this course into two more states, these numbers are expected to increase. These professionals pledge to provide service according to the NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care. Published in 2001, the NOFA Standards are the first of their kind and are widely recognized as the source for appropriate organic landscaping techniques across the nation.

The demand for organic landscaping services is increasing rapidly, driven by consumer concerns and regulatory pressures, including recent Connecticut legislation banning the use of pesticides at public and private schools with young children and resolutions by towns prohibiting or discouraging the use of pesticides. In order to address this need, the Organic Land Care Program runs an organic land care accreditation program for professionals.  Currently, it is the only accrediting agency dealing with Organic Land Care in the nation.

For more information on the program, or to find an accredited Organic Land Care provider near you, visit www.organiclandcare.net or call program manager Ashley Kremser in CT at (203) 888-5146.