Announcing Our Work with the Long Island Sound Study


Long Island Sound is an estuary that provides economic and recreational benefits to millions of people, while  also providing habitat for more than 1,200 invertebrates, 170 species of fish, and dozens of species of migratory birds. The Long Island Sound Study, developed under the EPA's National Estuary Program, is a cooperative effort between the EPA and the states of Connecticut and New York to protect and restore the Sound and its ecosystem.  


Top federal and state environmental officials have announced 35 grants totaling $1.6 million to state and local government and community groups in New York and Connecticut to improve the health of Long Island Sound.  The projects, which are funded through the Long Island Sound Futures Fund, will open up 50 river miles for passage of fish, and restore 390 acres of critical fish and wildlife habitat including lakes, underwater grasses, woodlands, meadows, wetlands, beaches and rivers and parks along the waterfront.  


The NOFA Organic Land Care Program is excited to announce that they have been named one of the grant recipients in the category of educational programming, and will use this funding to establish a NOFA Lawn Care Certificate Course in Connecticut. The NOFA Organic Lawn Care Certificate Course is an introductory course designed to provide the basic knowledge needed to start managing lawns organically. This one-day course will cover how pesticide and fertilizer runoff harms water quality, how to grow a beautiful lawn organically, and how to market organic services.  As consumer demand increases for organic lawn care, now is the time to improve your skills and reduce toxins in the environment!    


January 24: Manchester Community College
60 Bidwell Street, Manchester, CT
February 26: Three Rivers Community College
574 New London Turnpike, Norwich, CT
Instructors: Chip Osborne, Judy Preston (Connecticut Sea Grant), Diba Kahn-Bureau (Three Rivers Community College)

The course will begin with two hours of environmental education co-taught by Judy and Diba so you can learn about the state of water quality in your area, and how pesticides and excess fertilizers runoff into fresh and salt water creating algae blooms and pollution harmful to animal life.  Chip Osborne will discuss soil testing to reduce excess nutrients, lawn cultural practices, addressing insects, weeds and diseases and marketing organic lawn care to customers. 


Learn more about the LISFF grant and our Lawn Certificate Course here

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Reminder: Our Final 2012 Advanced Workshop


Business Essentials
Pricing and Marketing your Landscaping Services for Success
November 9, 9:00am - 1:00pm
Connecticut Forest and Park Association
Rockfall, CT

Join Frank Crandall and Anne DiFrancesco for a half-day advanced workshop focusing on business planning, branding, advertising, and tracking your success along the way.  This workshop concludes with a business panel featuring Frank, Anne, and Laurence Coronis of Coronis Consulting, and provides a packet of templates and forms that can be used in your own business.  The packet is a $95 value that is included with the registration fee.

Topics Include

  • Pricing organic -vs- conventional land care services
  • Organizing your business for profitability
  • Branding and why you need it
  • Defining your target audience
  • Implementing print and web advertising

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Other 2012 and 2013 Upcoming Events


December 5, 2012 9:00am - 5:30pm
Sturbridge Host Hotel
366 Main Street, Sturbridge, MA
Keynote: Eric T. Fleisher
Presenters: Chip Osborne (Osborne Organics, LLC), Bernadette Giblin (Safeground Organic Land Care), Lee Corte-Real (Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources), Cheryl Smith (UNH Cooperative Extention), Cynthia Rabinowitz (Center for Sustainable Living) and Dave Alba (Oregon Tilth). 
The 2012 Annual Gathering is a conference for Accredited Organic Professionals, interested landscapers, and environmental professionals.  The 2012 program includes technical presentations about responding to new pesticide regulations, responding to new criticisms of organic, and communicating the organic message to clients and the public.

Sponsored by:


January 14-17: 100 N. 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA
February 11-14: 574 New London Turnpike , Norwich, CT
This 30-hour course for land care professionals teaches the principles of organic land care based on NOFA's Standards for Organic Land Care. At the end of the course, attendees will be able to incorporate methods and materials into land care that respect natural ecology, the long-term health of the environment, and protect the health of pets, children and adults in the places they live and play.  At the conclusion of the course, an accreditation exam is offered and attendees may join NOFA's over 500 accredited professionals in offering accredited organic services.           

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New Streamlined Way to Submit Courses for AOLCP Credit


If you are teaching or attending a course that you think should offer Organic Land Care Continuing Education Credits for AOLCPs, there's now a faster way to submit courses for approval.  Click here for our new online form to get courses submitted for approval in seconds.  Submit a course for credit to increase the pool you have to choose from when looking to satisfy your yearly credit requirement.  But remember, if you want a course to receive credit, it must enhance or expand upon the scope of the Standards and/or course materials, and cannot promote substances prohibited in the Standards.  For a full list of criteria to consider when submitting courses for credit, click here.  If you have any questions about AOLCP course credits, or aren't sure how many credits you still need to stay accredited after January 1, 2013 call us at 203.888.5146 or email us.

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Check Out Our New Revamped Blog


To make it easier for you to stay up to date on current events and news in the organic land care community, we've moved our blog to a more accessible location here.  For our old blog that's now been archived, click here. Check out our blog regularly this fall and winter to stay updated on information about our Annual Gathering, Lawn Courses, and Accreditation Courses as more information becomes available about them. 

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In The News


Proposed Pesticide Ban in Manitoba Charges Forward, Public Input Sought   

Manitoba will likely join the majority of Canada's provinces in banning cosmetic pesticides next year, according to Conservation Minister Gord Mackintosh. More> 

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New Tiered Accreditation Fee Structure Offers More Marketing Resources to AOLCPs With Businesses

If you were accredited in 2011 or 2012, by now you should have received an email from us detailing our new 2013 accreditation fee structure that provides new tools to AOLCPs that want to market businesses while not charging extra to those who don't. (If you didn't receive the email, click here to see an online explanation.)  These changes are taking place in order to address the diverse needs of all AOLCPs. Now you can embed in your website our new descriptive image that concisely describes to customers what it means to be accredited, and use new personalized advertising templates in your business marketing. Additionally, next year we will be rolling out new collective advertisements in NOFA chapter publications. These new marketing materials can't be accessed without reaccrediting with our new business plan, however, so to learn more, give us a call at 203.888.5146, check out our website, or email us


Organic Lawn & Turf Day

**Worth 4 AOLCP credits
January 11, 2013
9:00am - 5:00pm
Tower Hill Botanic Garden
Boylston, MA
Cost: $95 NOFA members and AOLCPs; $105 non-members
The NOFA/Mass Organic Land Care Program is pleased to present this one-day intensive workshop on organic turf management. Organic lawn care is the fastest-growing sector of the green industry-and the NOFA Organic Land Care Program has been a pioneer in sustainable, chemical free land management for over a decade.  Learn more and register here.

Overview of Natural Turf Management
**For municipal workers only - worth 4 AOLCP credits
Wednesday November 7, 2012
8:30am - 3:30pm
Middlesex Community College
Chapman Hall, Rm 808, 100 Training Hill Rd, Middletown, CT
All day workshop with nationally-recognized organic landcare expert, Chip Osborne!
Thanks to generous support we are offering this course at no cost! (normally $150)
Option to purchase lunch in advance for $10, or BYO (no other food options on campus)
To register: contact Kim O'Rourke at 860-344-3526

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Current AOLCP Credit Opportunities 

The following classes and events have been approved for OLC credits.  In order to see a complete description of an event and the number of credits that will be awarded for attendance, please go to the credit opportunities page of our website. When you click on an event title, a complete description, including time, place, registration information, and number of credits will open.   


10/20/12 - Native Meadows from the Ground Up, Kennett Square, PA
10/25/12 - Getting Real About Invasive Plants, Storrs, CT
10/27/12 - Autumn Beauties: Habitat Gardens in Acton, MA
10/30/12 - Cape Cod Natural Turf Training, Hyannis, MA
11/3/12 - Gardening in a Changing Environment, New London, CT
11/3/12 - Landscape Design Clinic, Stockbridge, MA
11/6/12 - The Soil Food Web-Healthy Soils for Healthy Trees, Farmington, CT
11/7/12 - Overview of Natural Turf Management, Middletown, CT
11/9/12 - Business Essentials: Pricing and Marketing your Landscaping Services for Success, Rockfall, CT
11/15/12 - ELA Season' s End Summit: Taking Stock and Looking Forward, Ashland, MA
1/11/13 - Organic Lawn & Turf Day, Boylston, MA
1/15/13 - Landscape Integrated Pest Management (IPM), New Brunswick, NJ
1/29/13 - Organic Turfgrass Management, New Brunswick, NJ
2/12/13 - Reducing Pesticide Inputs and Exploring Organic Options for Sports Turf, New Brunswick, NJ
12/31/13 - ONGOING - Natural Turf Pro DVD, Northeast

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NOFA Standards Review

Fall often involves the cleaning up and removal of dead plant matter, whether it's fallen leaves or dead stalks from garden and landscape plants.  Whenever removing plant residue or another landscaping material from a job site, however, it's helpful to keep in mind the disposal guidelines outlined in the Standards.  The following excerpt on proper (an improper) landscaping material disposal can be found on page 58 of the NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care.

Organic land care professionals should comply with local town or city regulations regarding the disposal of any nondegradable materials such as pressure-treated lumber, concrete, asphalt, and other building debris. Dumpster rental may be required. Disposal of degradable materials, such as stumps, logs, and brush may also be regulated locally or by state statute. Invasive plant parts must be disposed of appropriately to prevent spread.

  • On-site composting of degradable materials
  • Grinding stumps and brush to chips for reuse on site


  • Composting off site
  • Removing stumps and brush to an off-site composting facility
  • Other disposal methods, such as burning, as permitted under local ordinances and state laws


  • Dumping off site in unauthorized areas
  • Disposal of invasive plant material in ways that could lead to the spread of such plants 

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CT NOFA | PO Box 164 | Stevenson | CT | 06491