NOFA Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care comes to Fairfield County

On a mission to spread safe and sustainable lawn care to yards, parks and schools across the state, The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut (CT NOFA) is bringing its famous Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care (OLC) to Fairfield County for the first time. This course will be on Oct. 26 and 27 & Nov. 2 and 3 and is hosted by The Audubon Center in Greenwich, a location known for its cutting-edge environmental programs and resources. With Connecticut’s legislation prohibiting synthetic chemicals from use on K-8th Grade school grounds, a thorough knowledge of organic gardening and landscape care is now a must for industry insiders and the savvy homeowner alike.

Coordinated by the NOFA Organic Land Care Program, this 4-day course features top experts in the organic land care industry including Chip Osborne, Michael Nadeau, Peter Schmidt, and others.  Teaching the principles organic land care design and management, it is created for landscapers, horticulturists, landscape architects, groundskeepers, environmental educators and garden enthusiasts. This course also offers a chance for business owners and educators to gain new credentials by ending with the Accreditation exam. Those who pass the exam will join over 500 NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals in 20 states.

This unique Accreditation Course is increasingly being used by landscapers as a tool to capture the growing market of customers who are looking for non-toxic and organic landscaping services. Attendees will learn organic thinking as they begin with the principles of health, ecology, fairness and care which are interwoven throughout the course.  Many sessions will focus on soil health and proper soil testing in order for students to only apply the fertilizers which are needed.  In addition, site analysis, green stormwater infrastructure, plant care and organic turf will be covered.

This OLC course announcement also comes at a time when there is a growing concern about the hazards of synthetic pesticides. Most notably, in March 2015, the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm designated the herbicide glyphosate (aka Round-up), as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”  The new classification is based on research about human exposure in the U.S., Canada and Sweden and on animal studies that found what the agency called “convincing evidence” that the chemical caused cancer in laboratory animals.

Audubon Greenwich Center Director Michelle Frankel noted, “For over a decade, this Audubon Center has promoted organic lawn care as one of the ways to reduce pollution while protecting children, wildlife and pets from toxic exposures. After hosting many expert presentations, this is the first opportunity for our center to provide a comprehensive course with experts who will train landscapers and conservationists on the latest techniques for managing landscapes sustainably.”

The NOFA Organic Land Care Program was founded by a volunteer committee of scientists, activists, and landscapers from the Massachusetts and Connecticut Chapters of the Northeast Organic Farming Association with the vision to extend organic principles to the places where families live and play.

The course runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and space is very limited to 50 people. The class fee is $695 and includes all course materials plus four days of catered lunches and refreshment. Group discounts and payment plans are available. For more details, an overview of topics covered, or to sign up, contact the CT NOFA staff at 203-308-2584 or visit



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