Green-Blue Grants Program, 2007

In 2007, more than 100 professionals gathered near Philadelphia for the “Green-Blue Summit: Clean Water through Residential Integrated Pest Management,” a conference to explore connections between IPM and water quality in turf and structural settings. Building on the momentum of that event, the Northeastern IPM Center launched the Green-Blue Grants Program, which disbursed approximately $12,500 to promote clean water through residential IPM. The goal of this program was to raise the level of education among northeasterners by supporting specific educational workshops and promotional materials that enhance residents' ability to implement IPM. The seven funded projects have provided direct training to nearly 1,000 homeowners and lawn care professionals in six states, while posters and brochures spread the word to many more residents in the region.

Delaware

Project: IPM in Suburbanizing Watersheds: Workshops for Changing Communities

  • Director: Brian A. Kunkel, Extension Ornamentals IPM Specialist, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
  • Summary: This project provided educational workshops to residents and community associations who face pest and water quality management issues. Faculty, Master Gardeners, and Extension agents presented information regarding invasive plants, importance of compost, recommendations for turf management, promoting and protecting water quality, alternatives to lawns in suburban landscapes, and native plants. A poster was used to promote plant selection, plant diversity, tolerance of insect feeding, and use of reduced risk pesticides to manage pests. Nearly 75 people attended the workshops.
  • Products: IPM and Native Plants poster (pdf)

Maine

Project: Outreach to Professional Landscapers and Lawn Care Providers in Southern Maine: "Go Green to Get Green"

  • Director: Richard Brzozowski, Extension Educator, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Portland, ME
  • Summary: To help reduce nutrients and pesticides in Maine's Casco Bay, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension partnered with the Board of Pesticides Control, Friends of Casco Bay, and the Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation district to present a one-day workshop for professional lawn care providers and landscapers in the region. The workshop presented information on the issue of overuse of fertilizers and pesticides on lawns and its effect on water quality and the environment. Homeowners were surveyed prior to the event to determine the degree of demand for natural lawn care. Survey results were presented to the professionals. In addition, educational presentations were made on lawn care without pesticides; soil science as it relates to turf management; weed management on lawns and environmentally-friendly plantings. More than 150 professionals participated in the educational event.

MASSACHUSETTS

Project: IPM and Water Quality Training for Home Gardeners

  • Director: George Kingston, President, Western Massachusetts Master Gardener Assn., Inc. East Longmeadow, MA
  • Summary: A presentation titled "Being a Good Gardening Neighbor to a Stream: IPM and Water Quality" was developed and presented at three different symposia sponsored by the WMMGA in western Massachusetts. The presentation showed home gardeners how to use IPM techniques to minimize the impact of residential lawns and gardens on water quality. The presentation was transferred to CD and can be used by Master Gardeners for future presentations to garden clubs and others. Approximately 45 home gardeners and gardening professionals attended the initial series of presentations, and project leaders received requests from garden clubs to have them repeated at meetings during the 2008-2009 season.
  • Products: Good Neighbor presentation (pdf), Good Neighbor brochure (pdf)

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Project: Univ. of New Hampshire (UNH) Train the Trainers: Landscaping at the Water's Edge Program

  • Director: Sadie Puglisi, Extension Educator, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, Boscawen, NH
  • Summary: UNH Cooperative Extension has developed a two-day program called "Landscaping at the Water's Edge: An Ecological Approach" aimed at landscape professionals, lakes associations, members of town Conservation Commissions and other decision makers. Participants learn how pesticides and fertilizers can reach surface water and ground water through leaching, run-off and erosion, and they learn how to protect and improve the quality of water resources by using ecologically-based design and low impact maintenance practices. The Green-Blue grant funded a condensed one-day training delivered to UNH Extension volunteers (Master Gardeners, Community Tree Stewards, Coverts Volunteers) who then presented a 1 or 2 hour program to community organizations (town boards, lakes associations, libraries, residential associations, etc). Using volunteers to deliver the program locally made it possible for UNH Cooperative Extension to reach approximately 400 people, a much wider audience than professional staff could reach alone.
  • Products: Lawn Care brochure (pdf)

NEW JERSEY

Project: Teaching Sustainable Lawn Care Practices to Professionals and Residents

  • Director: Amy Weaver, Watershed Stewardship Specialist, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, Pennington, NJ
  • Summary: This project involved hosting two individual workshops over two days. Day one offered presentations for land care professionals on becoming familiar with various sustainable landscaping techniques, IPM, and reducing negative impacts on water quality. During day two presentations, homeowners learned and discussed practical approaches for utilizing IPM techniques and making a positive impact on the environment. At both workshops, organizers provided guidance on creating an open and meaningful dialogue between homeowners and landscapers. Workshops reached 42 attendees, and an additional 250 people were reached via a mailing. Approximately 300,000 people may have been reached through exposure to educational posters located throughout municipalities in the watershed.
  • Products: River Friendly Residents poster (pdf)

NEW YORK (2 projects)

Project: Turf Love Workshops for Nursery Retailers and Landscapers

Project: Educating Capital District Consumers about Lawn Care and Water Quality

  • Director: David Chinery, Sr. Extension Resource Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rensselaer County, Troy, NY
  • Summary: The Capital District Counties of New York (Albany, Rensselaer, and Schenectady) are home to over 600,000 people, and the region's streams and rivers empty primarily into the Hudson River. This project was designed to educate a large number of residents directly about how proper lawn care can positively impact water quality and the environment. A total of 224 people attended one of six programs offered. A survey conducted several weeks after the programs found that 100% of respondents gained a great or moderate amount of knowledge on four lawn care topics. Additionally, 42% adopted one or more IPM practices that will improve water quality.