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Alternatives to Traditional Lawns
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Alternatives to Traditional Lawns

The Ecological Landscaping Alliance and New England Wild Flower Society are co-sponsoring this afternoon workshop on Alternatives to Traditional Lawns.

7/25/2017
When: Tuesday, July 25, 2017
1:00 - 5:00 pm
Where: Education Building -- Garden in the Woods
180 Hemenway Road
Framingham, Massachusetts  01701
United States
Contact: Penny Lewis
617-436-5358

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Alternatives to Traditional Lawns

According to NASA scientists, in the United States more surface area is covered by lawn than by any other single irrigated crop. Traditionally managed lawns are resource-heavy, requiring irrigation, fertilizer, and pesticides to thrive in our climate. Despite the “costs” lawns and turf are a predominant feature of the landscape and are valued for recreation as well aesthetics.

With growing environmental awareness along with new regulations, it is imperative that responsible homeowners as well as lawn and turf professionals manage lawns and turf in the most ecological manner.

Following emerging best practices, it’s possible to create healthy lawns and turf that are functional and aesthetic and are managed in a way that eliminates negative impacts on human health and the environment, meets regulatory guidelines, and is cost effective. And when considering ecological lawns, one solution that is gaining momentum is to reduce or remove lawns in favor of more biodiverse alternatives.

1:00-1:30         Nick Novick –
How to Have a Pretty Good Lawn for Not a Lot of Effort

According to NASA scientists, in the United States more surface area is covered by lawn than by any other single irrigated crop. Traditionally managed lawns are resource-heavy, requiring irrigation, fertilizer, and pesticides to thrive in our climate. Despite the “costs” lawns and turf are a predominant feature of the landscape and are valued for recreation as well aesthetics.

With growing environmental awareness along with new regulations, it is imperative that responsible homeowners as well as lawn and turf professionals manage lawns and turf in the most ecological manner.

On the one hand, it’s ironic to talk about “ecological” lawn management for something that is entirely an unnatural, human construct. On the other hand, healthy and functional home turf doesn’t have to entail all that much work. Consistent, well-timed, and appropriate management techniques, and minimal (if any) synthetic chemical use can result in a lawn that meets most people’s needs without profligate resource use. Proper mowing, timely overseeding, and a well-planned nutrient and biostimulant program are essential components of any conscientious lawn-care program. And, proper soil preparation prior to establishing a new lawn goes a long way toward long-term success.

1:30-2:00         Mary Owen
How Are New Regulations Affecting Landscape Professionals and  Homeowners?

Developing and implementing a soil and nutrient management program based on best management practices is critical to the proper management of turf with environmental protection, natural resource preservation, and economic viability as priorities.

Regulations regarding the sale, use, and application of fertilizer and nutrients on non-agricultural turf and in the landscape have been enacted by many states and communities. Mary Owen will provide an overview of how the newest legislation affects homeowners and landscape practitioners and will discuss strategies for implementing best nutrient management practices for turf with protection of water resources as the priority.

2:00-2:30         Dan Bensonoff
Neonicotinoid Regulations: Benefits and Practical Implications

Wild bees, European honeybees, and other insects and animals  are responsible for pollinating many of our most important crops and ornamentals – and their numbers are dwindling. Neonicotinoids, a class of insecticide that has been strongly associated with pollinator disturbance, is currently widely used by the landscape and nursery trades, horticulturalists, farmers, and homeowners. Dan Bensonoff will discuss neonicotinoids and explain the steps proposed legislation would take to protect pollinators in Massachusetts.  By passing H.2113, An Act To Protect Pollinators In The Commonwealth (D-Dykema), products containing “neonics” could only be used by only those individuals certified with a pesticide license. The bill also limits use of the chemical during the blooming season and adds education about pollinator impacts to the pesticide licensing process.

2:30-2:45         Break

2:45-3:15         Mark Richardson
Lawn Alternatives 

Lawns are a soul-crushing timesuck. Just read the headline of a recent article on washingtonpost.com. According to NASA, in the United States more surface area is covered by lawn than by any other single irrigated crop. Lawns are resource-heavy, requiring irrigation, fertilizer, and pesticides to thrive in our climate and most of us would be better off reducing or eliminating them altogether. Learn how to replace your lawn with native plant alternatives that functional, beautiful, and environmentally friendly.

3:15-4:45      Panel Discussion –Dan Jaffe, Moderator and Afternoon Speakers

This moderated discussion will follow up on speaker presentations and provide an opportunity for Q&A that encourages audience participation.

CEUs are being sought for this program.

 

For more information and to register please visit the Ecological Landscape Alliance website:  

http://www.ecolandscaping.org/event/alternatives-traditional-lawns/

or the New England Wild Flower Society website:

http://www.newenglandwild.org/learn/our-programs/alternatives-to-traditional-lawns

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Phone: (617) 489 - 3930
Fax: (617) 489 - 3935
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