Dear Friends,


The NOFA Organic Land Care Program needs your support now!  NOFA OLC was created in 1999 by a volunteer committee of land care professionals, scientists, consumers and anti-pesticide activists, to "Extend the vision and principles of organic agriculture to the care of the landscapes where people live, work and play." And taking it to the mainstream is exactly what we have been doing.


In 2012, NOFA OLC has:

  • Partnered with YouthBuild Boston to offer certificates to 14 young graduates of their Organic Land Care Apprentice Program, training the next generation of landscapers
  • Integrated the Accreditation Program into the two-semester Sustainable Landscape Ecology Program at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, CT
  • Partnered with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to bring the Accreditation Course to Philadelphia in 2013, at their invitation
  • Offered Advanced Workshops in Organic Orchards, Compost Tea, Stormwater Management and Business to AOLCPs and the other professionals
  • Joined The Connecticut Safe Grounds Coalition to educate stakeholders about the Child Safe Playing Fields legislation in Connecticut, to maintain the 2005 K-8th grade pesticide ban on school grounds which is opposed every year
  • Created a new NOFA Organic Lawn Care Certificate Course for 2013, to offer conventional lawn care providers organic alternatives in order to reduce nutrient and pesticide pollution leaching into Long Island Sound.

We have an exciting program lined up for 2013.  We need your help now to get there.  Your contribution is tax deductible and those who can contribute $500 or more may choose to be recognized as "Friends of Organic Land Care" on our web site and in our programs for the next year.


Feel free to contact me by email or at 203.888.5146 with any questions or ideas.  Thanks for your support! 



Jenna Messier 

Program Director

NOFA Organic Land Care Program

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Out and About with AOLCPs   

 By Kathy Litchfield


SCARBOROUGH, ME - It was early on a Friday morning in August when David Melevsky got the call. The athletic fields recently transitioned to organic management were flooded and preparations for the town's annual summer festival were scheduled to begin. Melevsky worked fast to pump off the water and re-arrange where some of the booths would be.


"Scarborough is a marshy town and it's tough when we get two- to three-inch rainstorms overnight," he said.


In June, the town approved Melevsky's company, Go Green Landscaping Inc., to manage all 37 acres of the town's athletic fields organically.


"There was a real division where half the people in town wanted chemicals and the other half wanted organics. It was a year-long process to get it through. It started with a grassroots group called 'Citizens for a Green Scarborough' proposing organics to the town. The main opposition was price and effectiveness of organics," said the NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional (AOLCP) since 2010 (Newburyport, MA 5-day course). More> 

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Announcing the 2012 Annual Gathering
Eric T. Fleisher


December 5, 2012 (snow date Dec. 6)

Sturbridge Host Hotel

Sturbridge, MA 


The 2012 Annual Gathering is titled, "Success with the Organic Land Care Market" in order to continue offering AOLCPs cutting-edge education promoting business success and a reduction in synthetic pesticide and fertilizer usage to benefit us all. We are excited to have Eric T. Fleisher as the keynote speaker; a man known for leading Harvard toward organic management of their grounds and for his current work managing Battery City Park, located in lower Manhattan along the Hudson River, organically and sustainably.


We will have some favorites speaking as well, such as Massachusetts AOLCPs Chip Osborne and Bernadette Giblin. Lee Corte-Real, from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, will inform AOLCPs about compliance with MA state laws. Cheryl Smith from UNH Cooperative Extension will be discussing how to reduce plant disease and Dave Alba, Oregon Tilth's Organic Land Care Program Manager will offer a unifying message for organic land care professionals nationwide.


The event will include plenty of sponsors and exhibitors and will be very interactive, with exhibitors around the ballroom of the Sturbridge Host Hotel and an hour and a half provided for lunch and networking. 


We hope to see you there this year, as we return to Massachusetts to gather together with over 200 AOLCPs living in the state. This is an opportunity to earn your continuing education credits, meet with old friends, and learn valuable information for your work and your business!


Learn more and become a sponsor here


Sponsored By 


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Reminder: Our Two Upcoming Advanced Workshops


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 that will help you make your business more organized, focused, and profitable.  Learn to create, plan, and advertise a strong brand to your target audience, and how to track your impact along the way.  This workshop concludes with a business panel featuring Frank, Anne, and Laurence Coronis of Coronis Consulting.

September 27, 9:00am - 4:30pm 

Beardsley Zoo

Bridgeport, CT 

The Beardsley Zoo is serious about reducing the polluted run-off from its parking lot which flows directly into the Pequonnock River.  This NOFA Organic Land Care Advanced Workshop will review key concepts and elements from the project, Water Quality Biofiltration BMPs, scheduled to break ground at the Zoo in Spring 2013.    


Announcing our two new workshop sponsors, Stormwater Works, and Unilock!     

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In The News


The Gloves Come Off: Espoma Launches Full Swing into Lawn Care

Wow. You have to watch this. It is, in its 80 seconds, the most provocative, bold and some would dare say ballsy video ever created in the history of the lawn care industry. And perhaps most stunning of all is the video's creators, the Espoma Company of Millville, N.J., once known as probably the most conservative company in the horticulture industry. More>   


School Worker Sues Rocky Hill; Says Her Work With Pesticides Caused Her Cancer

A school district employee has filed a lawsuit against her job supervisor and the town, claiming that she developed colon cancer from prolonged exposure to pesticides she was illegally using in the high school greenhouses.  More> 

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FREE CTPA Evening Seminar - Emerald Ash Borer in Connecticut

What Green Professionals Need to Know 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jones Auditorium, CAES, New Haven, CT

6:00 pm-8:30 pm

This seminar promises to be a worthwhile investment for all who work with ash trees, whether you are a commercial arborist, tree warden, landscaper, or nursery grower.  Topics to be covered include the federal and state perspectives on the forms and permits needed to move wood and wood products between states and within Connecticut, as well as guidelines for preserving trees in the presence of EAB.  Speakers are Kate Aitkenhead and Eric Chamberlain (USDA-APHIS-PPQ) and Drs. Kirby Stafford and Rich Cowles (CAES). The session will end with a question and answer period. This seminar will earn AOLCPs 1 continuing education credit. Preregistration isn't required, but helpful - email here to register. 


As always, if you have any comments or information related to the content of this newsletter that you'd like the AOLCP community to hear about, let us know

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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.   


9/16/12 - Understanding Botanical and Horticultural Names, Framingham, MA
9/18/12 - Emerald Ash Borer in Connecticut-What Green Professionals Need to Know
9/18/12 - Sustainable Gardening, Concord, NH
9/19/12 - Deciduous Trees, Kennett Square, PA
9/21/12 - 'Lawn Substitutes' and Organic Lawns, Weare, NH
9/22/12 - Pruning Shrubs and Small Ornamental Trees, Stockbridge, MA
9/27/12 - Autumn Can be Another 'Wow' Season in Your Garden, Wellesley, MA
9/27/12 - At the Root: Air Tools Workshop, Framingham, MA
9/27/12 - IPM for Landscape Professionals, Stockbridge, MA
9/27/12 - Horticultural Ecology, Boothbay, ME
9/28/12 - What Are Mushrooms?, Rowe, MA
9/29/12 - Notable Trees Tour, West Hartford, CT
9/29/12 - At the Root: Understanding and Managing Healthy Soils, Framingham, MA
9/29/12 - Woody Native and Invasive Plant Identification Walk, Concord, NH
10/5/12 - Bridging the Nature-Culture Divide II, New York, NY
10/8/12 - Plant Science: Understanding Plants, Kennett Square, PA
10/12/12 - Invasive Plants: Issues, Identification, and Ecology, Boothbay, ME
10/20/12 - Native Meadows from the Ground Up, Kennett Square, PA
10/25/12 - Getting Real About Invasive Plants, Storrs, CT
11/3/12 - Landscape Design Clinic, Stockbridge, MA
12/31/13 - ONGOING - Natural Turf Pro DVD, Northeast

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NOFA Standards Review

There has been a lot of press lately surrounding this study by Stanford University that claims that organic foods aren't as nutritious as conventional foods.  The organic farming community has responded that the nutritional advantages (or lack thereof) of organically produced food was never the point of organic farming in the first place.  Organic farming principles are the foundation for the Organic Land Care Standards, and so, just like organic agriculture, it is useful to always keep in mind why organic land care is important and why many landowners desire to care for their landscapes organically.  The following excerpt can be found on page 1 of the NOFA Standards for Organic land Care:

Basic Principles of Organic Land Care
(adapted from the "Principles of Organic Agriculture," International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements [IFOAM])
  1. Principle of Health. Organic land care should sustain and enhance the health of soil, water, air, plant, animal, human, and planet as one and indivisible.
  2. Principle of ecology. Organic land care should be based on ecological systems and cycles and should work with them, emulate them, and help sustain them.
  3. Principle of care. Organic land care should be managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well-being of current and future generations and the environment.
  4. Principle of fairness. Organic land care should build on relationships that ensure fairness with regard to the common environment and life opportunities. Fairness is characterized by equity, respect, justice, and stewardship of the shared world, both among people and in their relationships to other living things.  

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