Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2012 Organic Land Care Accreditation Course

The Northeast Organic Farming Association's Organic Land Care (NOFA OLC) Program is planning the 2012 Accreditation Course and we would really like to get the word out to school grounds employees, especially those in Connecticut who are having trouble adjusting to the state's pesticide ban at schools.

The Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care is for any land care professional or enthusiast to learn the ecology of residential yards or municipal and school grounds and to learn how to care for these spaces using sustainable and safe products and methods. The course is ten years old, has taught over 1200 students, and there are currently about 550 Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals (AOLCPs) bringing this expertise to their jobs as landscapers, groundskeepers, conservationists, planners, garden center employees and a number of other fields.

We hope to continue to recruit a variety of students who can apply these lessons in their towns and professional field anywhere in the country.
With the growing concern about the serious health threats pesticides can pose to adults, children and animals, more individuals, families and communities are looking to go organic as are entire municipalities. It is important to equip grounds employees with this knowledge of organics if the policies in their town change.

The course dates and locations are as follows:

January 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Worcester State University
Worcester, MA

February 15, 16, 17, 21, 22
The Connecticut Agricultural Station-New Haven Laboratory
New Haven, CT

February 27, 28, 29, March 1, 2
Kettle Pond Visitor Center
Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge
Charlestown, RI

For more information please visit or call our office (203)888-5146. I have also attached the formal press release and course brochure for more information.

Monday, December 19, 2011

NMSU working with school districts to implement integrated pest management programs

Schools, like many other buildings, can suffer pest problems. Insects, such as flies and cockroaches, can spread disease or trigger allergic reactions, while vertebrates like mice may cause structural damage or contaminate food.

But sometimes the removal of the pest can be as serious as the health risk. Because children are more sensitive to pesticides than adults, people concerned with providing a healthy environment for students often wonder if there is a better way to control pests in schools.

The answer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is for schools to use integrated pest management, a common-sense combination of strategies that offers safe and effective pest management for schools. Full article.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December School IPM 2015 eNewsletter

The December School IPM 2015 eNewsletter features the following articles: Building Out Pests, Pest Presses Provide a Wealth of Information, and Parents: Become an Advocate for IPM in your Child’s School.

If you have not done so already, please consider signing up for the monthly School IPM 2015 newsletter mailing list to:
  • Learn how you can reduce pesticide use and pest complaints by more than 70%!
  • Create a successful IPM program with no long-term increase in pest management costs.
  • Learn strategies for managing pests all year:
    • Fall – stinging insects
    • Spring – ants
    • New pests – bed bugs
  • Improve your ability to educate and gain cooperation from key staff including maintenance, custodial and food service.
Signing up is easy. Email your name and contact information to:

Friday, December 9, 2011

Announcement Regarding the 2012/2013 Pest Management Alliance Grant Program

The Department of Pesticide Regulation's (DPR's) 2012/2013 Pest Management Alliance Grant solicitation will be distributed the first week of January 2012.

DPR’s Pest Management Alliance Grant Program will provide a total of
$400,000 in funding for projects that increase implementation and adoption of proven, effective integrated pest management (IPM) practices that reduce pesticide risks to human health and the environment.

A key component of these projects is the formation of an Alliance, a team of individuals representing state, local, public, private, educational, and other stakeholders that directs the adoption and implementation of urban and agricultural IPM practices.

The grant application process involves two steps: an initial concept phase and a proposal phase. Concepts are concise descriptions of the Alliance project describing project goals and objectives, team members, target audience for outreach, and methods of measuring project success.
DPR staff score and rank concepts, inviting those with the highest ranked concepts to develop a proposal. The proposal is an expansion of the concept and should provide a detailed scope of work, identify measures of project success, and secure commitments from team members.

Projects should focus on adoption and implementation of agricultural or urban IPM practices in these suggested priority areas:
● Ensuring worker health and safety
● Improving ground and surface water quality
● Structural pest management
● Home garden and landscaping
● Protecting endangered species
● Reducing volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions

Concepts are due within 4 weeks of solicitation distribution.
Applicants invited to develop a proposal will have approximately 7 weeks to complete and submit their proposal.

Now is the time to start thinking about a potential grant project and the individuals you may want to include in an Alliance.

If you know groups or individuals that may be interested in applying for a Pest Management Alliance Grant, we encourage you to pass on this information.

For additional information on the Pest Management Alliance Grant Program and to view past funded projects, please visit <>. To view the previous year’s solicitation, please visit <>.

If you have any questions, please contact Ann Schaffner at 916-324-4156.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Who is Your 2012 Healthy Schools Hero?

Contact: Ellie Goldberg, M.Ed., . Attn: Science educators, STEM advocates, professionals in public health, school health, IAQ, IPM, health and safety, lab safety, school security, emergency and risk management, asthma educators, first responders, school administrators, nurses, advocates, parents and students.

Who is Your 2012 Healthy Schools Hero?

Do you know someone whose sense of responsibility, inspirational leadership, and exemplary persistence and courage protects children from school hazards and unhealthy school conditions?

Send your hero's name, email/phone #,
and your hero's story by February 15, 2012
to Ellie Goldberg at

March 18 2012 is the 75th anniversary of the 1937 Texas School Explosion. Let's make March 18 an annual day to bring the lessons of the 1937 Texas School Explosion to your community and to celebrate the leadership for safety that can save lives.

The 1937 Texas School Explosion was the worst school disaster in American history. It was a gas explosion that killed more than 300 people, mostly students, just minutes before the end of the day in their new state-of-the-art public school. No expense had been spared except when it came to safety.

Lessons Learned. Lives Saved. The Healthy Kids Healthy Schools Hero Award, announced in anticipation of March 18 each year, was created as an annual opportunity to inspire leadership and partnerships to protect children from the chemical hazards and unhealthy conditions in today's schools. Read about Heroes 2011 - 2005

Send your 2012 hero's name, contact information, and your hero's story by February 15, 2012 to Ellie Goldberg at

More at

Effective Policies to Reduce Exposures to Pesticides in Schools

To promote a national framework for the prevention of chemical incidents in schools, ICTW has teamed up with ATSDR to bring you the third of four webinars that explore policies to reduce exposures to chemicals in schools. In this webinar you’ll hear about
•which states have enacted policies to reduce pesticide use in schools,
•the types of pesticide incidents seen in California school settings,
•EPA’s School Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program,
•the need for a more precautionary approach.

 Janet Hurley, School IPM Program Specialist, Texas
 Michel Oriel, Research Scientist, CA Department of Pesticide Regulation
 Sherry Glick, National School IPM Expert, US EPA
 Jay Feldman, Executive Director, Beyond Pesticides

Connection Information Meeting Number: 575 394 310 Meeting Password: ICTW You must connect to this webinar via the internet and teleconference.
1.Go to
2.If requested, enter your name and email address.
3.If a password is required, enter the meeting password ICTW and click "Join".
4.Call-in toll-free to 1-866-745-1015 and enter attendee access code: 962 195 6 For assistance during the call go to and click "Support“ on the navigation bar. For more information before the call, contact