2/23/11

Natural lawn care workshop highlights healthy alternative

Looking for a way to grow your business in the expanding field of natural lawn care? Interested in transitioning your parks and municipal properties away from conventional lawn care? Safer Pest Control Project (SPCP), with the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association, Midwest Ecological Landscaping Association, along with partners on a grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative—Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, Lake Champlain Sea Grant, University of Illinois Extension, and Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning—will host a one-day workshop on Natural Lawn Care on March 23, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Illinois. Registration information and the full agenda are available at www.ilca.net.

“Growing public demand for safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly lawns has created a prime opportunity for turf pros and for those looking to get into this field to address customers’ concerns” said Rachel Rosenberg, SPCP executive director. Natural lawn care emphasizes building healthy soil, encouraging soil biology, selecting the right grass, watering properly and managing pests naturally. The topics the workshop will cover include: Sustainability and Natural Lawns, Soil and Healthy Landscapes, Transitioning to Natural Lawn Care, Budgets and Saving Money, and Public Messaging.

The featured speaker is Chip Osborne, president of Osborne Organics, with more than 30 years of experience in the turf and horticulture industry, as well as experience managing athletic and municipal turf fields naturally. Osborn lectures nationwide on natural turf management, both to homeowners and municipalities, and has addressed the National Sports Turf Managers Association. Additional experts include: Mike Nowak of "The Mike Nowak Show" on WCPT820 AM, Chicago; Richard Hentschel, U of I Extension green industry programming specialist; Laura Killian, Lake Champlain Sea Grant water quality educator at the University of Vermont; Steve Neumann, owner of Logic Lawn Care; and Tom Lupfer, owner and Founder of Lupfer Landscaping.

Workshop participants will be able to choose from two specialized topic areas: “Implementing Natural Lawn Care on Your Property” or “Running a Natural Lawn Care Business.” The cost of the workshop is $150, with lunch included. Group discounts are available. Funding is provided by a grant from the U.S. EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, with additional support from workshop sponsors.

For a complete agenda, presenter biographies and registration materials, visit www.ilca.net.

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