NOFA Organic Land Care Program Recieves $20,000 from Newman's Own Foudation

Grant to support professional development and outreach

                OXFORD, CT – The Connecticut Chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (CT NOFA) is pleased to announce that it has received a grant of $20,000 from Newman's Own Foundation in support of its project, Growing Organic Landscaping in the Northeast.  This project focuses on increasing the availability and visibility of trained and accredited NOFA Organic Land Care Professionals, and increasing homeowner awareness and education about least toxic landscaping methods.
               Now in its 10th year, the NOFA Organic Land Care Program has educated well over 1,000 professionals via its unique and sought out 5-day accreditation course in organic land care, held in four states, including Connecticut, each winter. Upon passing the NOFA Accreditation Exam, landscapers earn the distinction of “Accredited Organic Land Care Professional (AOLCP),” and are equipped with the knowledge and skills to provide organic landscaping for clients who request these services. NOFA Organic Land Care eschews the use of toxic or synthetic chemicals and promotes healthy soil, biodiversity, and water conservation.

With over 550 AOLCPs in 20 states presently, the NOFA Organic Land Care Program aims to focus on retention, by adding additional advanced, hands-on workshops on a variety of topics. Past advanced workshops have included Organic Management of Invasive Species, Advanced Pruning Techniques and Brewing Actively Aerated Compost Tea.

The workshops, which have filled to capacity, are held at sites in need of organic landscaping services, where the hands-on labor performed benefits not only the professionals but the site owners as well. Previous sites have included the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, CT and Ghiloni Park in the Town of Marlboro, MA. 
                Another aspect of the proposal is to increase homeowner demand for organic landscaping by developing a PowerPoint presentation, geared to homeowners, on the importance of biodiversity. This talk will be held at two venues (sites TBD), made available on the NOFA Organic Land Care Program’s website: www.organiclandcare.net, and to other organizations for use in their states.

“Educating homeowners is an integral piece in improving the health of our environment. Landscaping pesticides represent a large percentage of groundwater contamination and often consumers apply more than is necessary to get the job done on their lawns,” said Clara Buitrago, NOFA OLC Program Homeowners’ Campaign coordinator. “We’re thrilled about being able to offer educational opportunities to homeowners on organic land care, thanks to Newman’s Own Foundation.” 

                Over the past four years, Newman’s Own Foundation has awarded the NOFA Organic Land Care Program with $75,000 worth of grants to increase its capacity by adding staff, support landscape professionals, develop peer-peer networks, enhance the website, and transition school grounds to organic management.

For more information about the NOFA Organic Land Care Program, call Program Manager Ashley Kremser at CT NOFA: (203) 888-5146 or email akremser@ctnofa.org.


About Newman's Own Foundation

Paul Newman was committed to helping make the world a better place. To carry on his philanthropic legacy, Newman's Own Foundation donates all net royalties and profits after taxes from the sale of Newman's Own products to charity. To date, Paul Newman and Newman's Own Foundation have given over $295 million to thousands of charities around the world. For more information, visit www.newmansownfoundation.org.