Newly Accredited Organic Landscapers from Maine, Jan 2010

9th annual NOFA 5-day Course in Organic Land Care
Accredits 10 Maine Landscapers in Organic Methods

NEWBURYPORT, MA – Ten professional landscapers from Maine joined over 500 professionals accredited by the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA)’s Organic Land Care Program, during the 9th annual NOFA 5-day Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care. The course was held January 13, 14, 15, 19 and 20, 2010 at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport, MA, just over the Maine border. NOFA partnered with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) to recruit and publicize the course.

Congratulations to the 10 newly accredited NOFA Organic Land Care Professionals:

  • Paul Lorrain and Alice Dunworth, Sunset Farm Organics in Lyman
  • Jaime Critchley, Alyssa Lynch and Mike Veazey from Piscataqua Landscaping in Eliot
  • Pamela Durack from JNL Inc in Eliot
  • Marjorie Peronto and Diana Hibbard from University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Ellsworth and Portland
  • Carol Laboissonniere from Kennebunk
  • Justin Nichols from Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay
  • Robert Carr of Keystone Horticulturist in Buxton

All of the Maine professionals will be listed in the NOFA AOLCP Online Searchable Database at www.organiclandcare.net, and published in the 9th annual NOFA Guide to Organic Land Care (15,000 distributed free throughout the Northeast annually). To find a NOFA accredited organic landscaper, visit www.organiclandcare.net and click on “AOLCP Search.”

Among the benefits of NOFA Accreditation are networking with hundreds of other organic landscape professionals practicing OLC according to the NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care, discounts on OLC Program educational events and workshops; publicity and marketing support; use of the NOFA Accredited Professionals logo on marketing materials; and access to NOFA staff for referrals, teaching/speaking opportunities and transitional assistance.

The 9th annual NOFA 5-day Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care drew a total of 74 professional landscaper students to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, a sustainably constructed “green” and LEED certified building with a state-of-the-art theater and multi-purpose classroom. The refuge was established in 1942 to provide feeding, resting and nesting habitat for migratory birds, and is of special significance to waterfowl and shorebirds.

Sponsored and organized by the NOFA Organic Land Care Program, the five-day, (accreditation optional) intensive course is designed to provide professionals with the education needed for an understanding of organic land care from design to maintenance. The curriculum is based on Standards for Organic Land Care: Practices for Design and Maintenance of Ecological Landscapes, written by NOFA’s Organic Land Care Committee. These Standards, first published in 2001, are the first of their kind in the country.

Course faculty include respected scientists and experienced organic land care practitioners, who instruct the following classes: Principles and Procedures; Site Analysis, Design, and Maintenance; Rain Gardens/Storm Water Infiltration; Soil Health; the Soil Foodweb; Fertilizer and Soil Amendments; Composting; Lawns; Lawn Alternatives; Planting and Plant Care; Wetlands; Water Conservation & Management; 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.

At the end of the course, students are able to incorporate methods and materials that respect natural ecology and the long-term health of the environment into the care of their own landscapes or ones that they manage.

Over 1,000 land care professionals from 20 states have taken NOFA’s course in the last nine years. These professionals include landscapers from large and small firms, landscape architects, garden center employees, municipal groundskeepers and property managers. Small business owners, entrepreneurs, homeowners, land trust and conservation organization staff and many others have also found the course extremely valuable.

The 10th annual NOFA 5-day Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care will be held in January 2011. For more information or to receive registration brochures, contact Kathy Litchfield, NOFA/Mass Organic Land Care Course Coordinator, at (413) 773-3830, kathy@nofamass.org or visit www.organiclandcare.net to register online.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE             Contact: Kathy Litchfield (413) 773-3830
      kathy@organiclandcare.net