NOFA OLC Announces Eventh Annual Accreditation Course to Teach Professionals to "Go Organic"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 8, 2011
Contact: Kristiane Huber
kristiane@ctnofa.org

TEACHING LAND CARE PROFESSIONALS TO “GO ORGANIC” FOR ELEVEN YEARS

Three Accreditation Courses in Organic Land Care Available in Southern New England

The Northeast Organic Farming Association’s Organic Land Care Program has announced three Accreditation Courses in the winter of 2012.  The first Accreditation course, located in Worcester, MA is scheduled for January 9-13, the second course will be in New Haven, CT for February 15, 16, 17, 21 and 22, and the final course will be held in Charleston, RI for February 27 to March 2.

The five-day intensive course provides land care professionals and advanced amateurs with the education needed to create thriving non-toxic landscapes that are beneficial to local ecosystems. “Our course teaches a way of landscaping that is healthier for people and the environment. Organic replaces toxic chemicals that get in our skin, lungs and water with methods that promote biodiversity, create habitat and protect water supplies” says Bill Duesing, CT NOFA Executive Director.

The NOFA Organic Land Care Program was founded by a volunteer committee of scientists, activists, and landscapers from the MA and CT Chapters of the Northeast Organic Farming Association. In 2001, the committee published the first organic landscaping standards, the Standards for Organic Land Care: Practices for Design and Maintenance of Ecological Landscapes on which the curriculum of the Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care is based.

The 30 hour course features a faculty of respected scientists and experienced organic land care practitioners. Class topics include: Site Analysis, Design and Maintenance; Rain Gardens and Storm Water Infiltration; Soil Health; Fertilizer and Soil Amendments; Lawn Alternatives; Wetlands; Pest Management; Wildlife Management; Disease Control; Mulches; Invasive Plants; Client Relations and Running a Business. Four hands-on case studies are also included in the course.

Attendees may take an optional exam to become NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals (AOLCPs).  Benefits of accreditation include use of the NOFA Organic Land Care logo and listings in widely distributed print guides and in the AOLCP Searchable Database at www.organiclandcare.net.

"The NOFA Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care offers a broad and intensive overview of the principles and techniques by which our students can maintain home landscapes, private conservation areas and public lands such as sports fields or parks” explained the Program Director Jenna Messier.  To date, over 1,200 land care professionals from 22 states have taken NOFA’s course. “People have come from as far as Illinois, Atlanta, and Texas to take this course,” says NOFA/Mass Organic Land Care Program Coordinator Caro Roszell. 

For more information on and registration for the Connecticut and Rhode Island courses please visit our website at www.organiclandcare.net or call the CT NOFA office at 203-888-5146. For information on the Massachusetts course, contact the Massachusetts Program Coordinator, Caro Roszell at (508) 360-0874 or caro@nofamass.org or visit www.nofamass.org/programs/landcare/ to register online.