Our MGG Week Webinars March 22 through 26 will host 18 different speakers and panelists. Each presenter will cover unique sustainable landscaping topics and issues. See below for our list of the most intriguing topics MGG Week will review:
March 22nd’s “Adding an Organic Lawn Care Service to Your Business” Webinar, RSVP at bit.ly/MGGolctraining21:
Topic #1: Environmental and Health Risks of Synthetic Chemicals- The MGG team regularly keeps tabs on the scientific research and policymaking related to synthetic landscaping pesticides and fertilizers. MGG’s Ryan Anderson details the environmental and health risks of common lawn herbicides such as 2, 4-D on March 22nd. Meanwhile, MGG’s Leah McSherry will review IARC’s probable carcinogen classification for glyphosate during March 25th’s “Viable and Safe Alternatives to Glyphosate” webinar.
Topic #2: OLC Essential Components from the National Expert- Organic lawn care (OLC) expert Chip Osborne, founder of Osborne Organics and the Organic Landscape Association, shares his knowledge with MGG on March 22nd. Landscaping companies who want to provide OLC services to their customers will learn about the needed soil testing, fertilization, compost topdressing and weed/pest control practices from Chip.
Topic #3: OLC Business Pointers from Successful OLC Companies- March 22nd attendees can investigate the operational, pricing and marketing considerations for an OLC service by asking entrepreneurs that have successfully navigated the OLC service sector. Three OLC companies in the Midwest of Greenwise Organic Lawn Care, Organic Lawns by LUNSETH and Osborne Organics will join Chip Osborne in a panel discussion to answer your questions.
March 24th’s “Improving Soil Health on Sports and Recreational Fields” Webinar, RSVP at bit.ly/MGGsoilhealth21:
Topic #4: How to Care for the Diverse Ecosystem that Lives Below Our Feet- Billions of bacteria, archaea, fungi and protozoa live below us in the “soil microbiome”. Paul Koch from the University of Wisconsin will present preliminary research on how sports field management inputs such as pesticides and fertilizers can alter this microbiome structure. After Dr. Koch, Dan Dinelli, the Golf Course Superintendent of the North Shore Country Club, will share how his management approach brings together the physical, chemical and biological components to benefit soil and turfgrass ecosystems.
Topic #5: The Benefits of Compost Topdressing- Dinelli’s compost topdressing program improves turfgrass performance on all of his fairways. Dinelli, Dr. Koch and Illinois Food Scrap Coalition’s Benjamin Krumstok will elaborate how organic matter rich compost feeds soil microbiology, fights turfgrass disease, reduces flooding and improves overall plant health on March 24th. Then, staff from the City of Urbana will discuss their compost topdressing program for turfgrass fields across Urbana.
Topic #6: Eliminating Synthetic Pesticides and Fertilizers on Sports and Recreational Fields in 2021- MGG’s Natural Lawn Care Technical Assistance Program will help three communities of River Forest, Elgin and Grand Rapids transition highly trafficked fields away from synthetic pesticides and fertilizers in 2021. MGG’s team members of Ryan Anderson and Vytas Pabedinskas will describe the services provided by the NLC Technical Assistance Program and how your community can apply to receive these services that start in the fall of 2021.
March 25th’s “Viable and Safe Alternatives to Glyphosate” Webinar, RSVP at bit.ly/MGGalternatives21:
Topic #7: The Flywheel Management Approach for Weed Management- Natural resource and native plant expert Nick Fuller, founder of Natural Communities LLC., introduces the four spokes of the flywheel weed management approach to reduce dependence on glyphosate products: (1) “Investigation, planning and prevention”, (2) “Plant and Seed Selection”, (3) “Alternative Invasive Weed Management Products and Structures to Glyphosate” and (4) “Evaluation & Improvement”.
Topic #8: Selection of Hardy and Resilient Native Plants- Fuller identifies the many competitive and hardy native plant mixes, including warrior plants, that best control invasive and non-invasive weeds in recreational parks, wetlands, coast lines, forests, prairies and more. Meanwhile, V3 Companies’ George Milner reviews his Gray Willows Wetland Mitigation Bank project that successfully converted a former agricultural and turfgrass landscape into a high quality natural area with limited herbicide use.
Topic #9: Alternative Invasive Weed Management Products and Structures to Glyphosate- Many alternatives to glyphosate exist such as controlled burning, mowing, steaming, goats and organic herbicides. MGG’s Ryan Anderson and University of Minnesota Educator Maggie Reiter elaborate on these strategies and recommends when to use each strategy. Later on March 25th, Dr. Janice Gilbert of the Invasive Phragmites Control Centre and Lynn Short of Humber College cover the alternative controls they use to manage invasive Phragmites.
Topic #10: Improving and Implementing the Flywheel Weed Management Approach in the Long-Term- Dr. Gilbert, Lynn Short, Dan MacSwain from Washington County, MN and Laurie Schneider of the Pollinator Friendly Alliance discuss how they implement, evaluate and improve their weed management plans to ensure the flywheel keeps rotating. Program improvement requires engagement of board, staff and community members in policy implementation, maintaining proper recordkeeping and developing annual evaluations.