Midwest Grows Green (MGG) invites you to our Sustainable Landscaping Workshops on October 26th to learn strategies and practices that reduce synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. See below for our list of the most intriguing workshop topics:
The Morning Session: Natural Lawn Care
Topic #1: Healthy Soil Equals Healthy Grass- Sustainable landscaping starts with nurturing healthy and biodiverse soil. MGG’s Ryan Anderson will describe the billions of bacteria, archaea, fungi and protozoa that live below us and what they contribute to plant health. Following, keynote speaker, Dr. AJ Lindsey of the University of Florida, will cover how turfgrass managers can incorporate organic soil amendments and fertilizers to improve sustainability and health of their athletic fields.
Topic #2: Soil Health Improvement Tools and Strategies- MGG’s Technical Assistance Program (TAP) team of Anderson and Vytas Pabedinskas will describe the services they provide to communities to transition highly trafficked fields away from synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Resources include instruction on interpreting soil tests, elaboration on what different weeds indicate about soil health and an overview of the soil amendments, aeration, overseeding and other cultural practices that correct identified soil health issues.
Topic #3: Site visit of the Pesticide Free Priory Park- The River Forest Park District has proudly partnered with TAP since 2020! We can’t wait to provide a tour of TAP’s sustainable landscaping transition project at Priory Park. Pabedinskas and Anderson will demonstrate proper soil health, compaction and condition testing techniques at the park. They will, also, share future management plans for the Priory Park site. You will not want to miss this interactive demonstration!
The Afternoon Session: Design, Installation and Maintenance Characteristics of a Sustainable Landscaping Service
Topic #4: 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 #5: Alternative Invasive Weed Management Products and Structures to Glyphosate- Many alternatives to glyphosate exist such as controlled burning, mowing, steaming, target grazing and organic herbicides. A panel of experts including Anderson, Fuller, Dr. Lindsey and Amanda Arnold from PlanIt Landscape Perspectives, LLC will elaborate on these strategies and recommend when to use each strategy.
Topic #6: Evaluating and improving your sustainable landscaping services or operations through Green Shield Certified- Anderson will detail how our new GSC for Landscapes standards will help improve your sustainable landscaping practices and how to market this improvement to your customers or community members. All Sustainable Landscaping Workshop attendees qualify for $125 off their first on-site evaluation if scheduled in the Spring of 2023.