The programs teach school turf managers how to work without chemical pesticides.
Grassroots Environmental Education, a national environmental health non-profit organization, will conduct a series of professional turf training programs for school turf managers in Connecticut to help them comply with the state's new law prohibiting the use of chemical pesticides on school playing fields for grades K-8 and daycare centers. The law went into effect July 1.
“Some turf managers still believe that you have to use pesticides to maintain great sports fields, but that's old thinking," says Doug Wood, associate director of Grassroots. "Once they come to our training and learn about the recent advances in soil science and microbiology, they understand how it's possible to have beautiful, drought- and pest-resistant fields without using toxic pesticides that can seriously impact children's health and the environment."
Connecticut's law banning turf pesticides was the first of its kind in the country. New York State followed, banning them on all school grounds, K-12 including day care centers. Other states are considering similar measures. Grassroots is conducting training programs in both New York and Connecticut to help ensure the success of the new laws.
"We're here in Connecticut working with other environmental and health groups to make sure this historic, child-protective legislation really works," says Lauren Hughes, policy director for Grassroots. "Many schools in the Northeast have already made the switch to organic playing fields. We're here to help make that happen for schools in Connecticut."
The full-day professional training programs, conducted by Charles ("Chip") Osborne, will all take place between Sept. 21 and Sept. 30 at six different locations around the state: Greenwich, Litchfield, New London, Hartford, Branford and Pomfret.
Dates and times of the training programs, as well as a promo video and course description, are available at www.grassrootsinfo.org/ghlpcttraining.html. Registration is free for one person from each school or district in the State.