2012 Annual Gathering

Speakers from 2012 Conference below:

Keynote: Eric T. Fleisher

Adaptive Leadership in Organic Land Care

Fleisher will be discussing a diagnostic approach to managing the landscape that is knowledge and process driven (instead of product driven).  He will address ways to inform and educate a cli

ent, and how to document and verify your business' results to build a reputation and validate the organic process. 

Eric “T” Fleisher is the Director of Horticulture at

Battery Park City Parks Conservancy (BPCPC) in lower Manhattan. He is a national leader in the field of sustainable horticulture, and has brought this 37-acre oasis of parkland on the Hudson River to the forefront as the only public garden space in New York City to be maintained completely organically. His methods are based on the development of balanced soil ecology, with an emphasis on composting, water conservation, and the use of nontoxic means of pest and disease control. A frequent lecturer on sustainable practices, Fleisher also serves as a consultant to Harvard University, the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Conservancy in Boston, Bowdoin College, and Mount Auburn Cemetery among other organizations. A 2008 Loeb Fellow at Harvard University, Fleisher is continuing to develop protocols to help landscapes recover from the 20th century's chemical interventions. 

Chip Osborne


Charles "Chip" Osborne, Jr., founder and President of Osborne Organics, LLC, has over 10 years experience in creating safe, sustainable and healthy athletic fields and landscapes, and 35 years experience as a professional horticulturist. Chip is a board member of Beyond Pesticides, Chairman of the Marblehead, Massachusetts' Recreation and Parks Department, and speaks nationwide on the topic of turf management for athletic fields and landscapes. He remains a dedicated environmental activist speaker for communities wanting to learn about why and how to change their town policies.

Dave Alba

"Common Principles: Creating a Unified OLC Movement."

Dave will talk about the process of creating a unified message for all organic land care professionals to use so homeowners become accustomed to the same language and concepts across the country. Alba will talk about the parallels and links between Oregon Tilth’s Accreditation Program and the work of the NOFA Organic Land Care Program.
Dave Alba is Oregon Tilth’s Organic Land Care Program Manager and will offer a unifying message for organic land care professionals in North America.  David Alba is the Oregon Tilth Accredited Organic Land Care Program Manager. He coordinates organic land care trainings for landscape professionals and manages the accreditation program. In 2009, he helped edit and publish the Oregon Tilth Organic Land Care Field Guide and the Oregon Tilth Organic Land Care Policies and Standards. David has 20 years experience in organic horticulture, specifically in the areas of horticultural therapy, small farm management, and restoration.

Bernadette Giblin

Bernadette will offer her techniques for educating citizens, municipalities and clients about the benefits of organic land care. Giblin, a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional since 2005, is presently working with four municipal parks departments in Western Massachusetts, helping them transition a total of 12 acres of parks to organic management plans. She is partnering with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, with financial assistance from the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

Cynthia Rabinowitz

Professional soil scientist, horticulturist, ecological landscape designer, and Certified Permaculture Design Consultant. Cynthia's gardening and horticulture articles have appeared in Connecticut newspapers, Fine Gardening Magazine and Edible Nutmeg Magazine. Cynthia's professional activities involve identification and delineation of inland-wetlands in Connecticut and New York, ecological landscape and Permaculture design and wetland restoration planting plans. Cynthia will teach about permaculture practices, and its application to Organic Land Care. 

Cheryl Smith

Cheryl Smith from UNH Cooperative Extension, a presenter at NOFA Accreditation Courses, will be discussing how to reduce plant disease. Cheryl Smith is the Plant Health Specialist with UNH Cooperative Extension, and Director of the UNH Plant Diagnostic Lab. She has been a diagnostic and Extension plant pathologist for nearly 30 years. Cheryl teaches Plant Pathology and conducts applied research at UNH, with an emphasis on cultural and biological control. She has given more than 350 presentations as an invited speaker at many conferences, workshops and meetings, and has been an instructor for many years with the NOFA Land Care Course.

Lee Corte-Real

Lee Corte-Real is currently the Director of the Division of Crop Inspectional Services & Pest Management. He was previously the Pesticide Operations Coordinator that supervised the Pesticide Licensing and Certification Program and Pesticide Product Registration and he has been with the Department of Agricultural Resources for 27 years.  Lee will inform AOLCPs about compliance with Massachusetts State Pesticide Application Laws and about new laws.

Check out last year's Annual Gathering page to see photos and the program from the 2011 Annual Gathering! And if you're interested in sponsoring the Annual Gathering, check out the Sponsorship page!