Sustainable Landscapes

Designing sustainable landscapes across urban-rural interfaces

Ornamentals and Turf Short Course Offered Online by UConn Extension

Man applying pesticidesThis year has been unique for everyone. All of us have been impacted in one way or another. We at UConn Extension have been striving to put this course online for your convenience. While we understand that an online course is simply not the same as in person this is where we are in the world today. 

There are some advantages to having an online course, first you can work when it’s most convenient for you. You can also take the course in small chunks rather than sitting through a three-hour lecture. You don’t have to leave your job or business to take the course either.

This Short Course is an in depth review of the information necessary for studying and fulfilling the requirements of the Ornamental and Turf/Golf Course Superintendents State of Connecticut Supervisory Pesticide Applicator Certification exam. A student completing all the modules and working through the “Knowledge Checks” and studying resources materials independently should be able to successfully pass the examination, both written and oral state exam. 

Class topics are:  Pesticide Laws and Regulations, Pesticide Safety, Botany and Ornamental Identification, Plant Pathology and Ornamental Plant Diseases, Entomology and Insect Pests of Woody Ornamentals, Area and Dosage Calculations, Turf Management and Weed Management. Each class begins with a basic overview of the science then takes an in-depth look at specific pests, their biology and control.

We have developed the course into eight modules. Each module is broken down into parts. Each part begins with learning objectives followed by slides with a narrative. Each part will close with a summary and knowledge check. Please take the knowledge check seriously and take the time to write out your answers as this will help you retain the important points from each part. There is the option to printing the slides and narrative to serve as study materials as well.  

Each week on Mondays we plan to introduce two modules for you to work through during the week. The following Monday we will do a short debrief of the modules you just completed and introduce the next two modules, again followed with a debrief the next Monday and so on for four weeks.

If you were enrolled in the winter 2020 classes at the Farmington Extension Office or at SiteOne you may register for the course for free. All others will be charged a $300 registration fee for the course. You can register online for the class at  https://bit.ly/OT_ShortCourse 

This does not include the required Pesticide Applicator Training Manual, (aka “The Core Manual”) can be found and downloaded for free from the “National Association of State Departments of Agriculture” at the following link:

https://www.nasda.org/foundation/pesticide-applicator-certification-and-training.

There is also an optional manual called the “Ornamental and Turf, Category 3 manual” available from Cornell, 

https://www.cornellstore.com/25.-Nursery-Ornamentals-And-Turf

Check for used copies of these books with your colleagues or online, yes, even check Amazon.

You will also need a copy of the “Nutrient and Integrated Pest Management Manual”, Online at the UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources bookstore free: 

http://cag.uconn.edu/documents/Turfgrass-IPM-manual-s.pdf

To be placed on the email list for class announcements please call (860) 409-9050 and ask to be placed on the Ornamental and Turf Short Course email list, or email:  Diane.Labonia@UConn.edu

 

Registration is now open for Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group’s VIRTUAL symposium

The Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group’s 2020 Symposium will be held online on October 7th! 
Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group's virtual symposium
WHAT: Virtual Event: Realistic Solutions to Managing Invasive Plants
WHEN:  October 7, 2020;  8:30 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.
WHO:  Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group (CIPWG)
WHERE:  Webcast on your computer
NOTES:  CEUs for 11 organizations and Pesticide Recertification Credits available; all interested persons welcome
COST:
  • Early Registration $50 on or before September 14th
  • Regular Registration $65 after September 14th
  • Student Registration $25

MORE INFO: https://cipwg.uconn.edu/2020-symposium/

The Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group (CIPWG) 2020 VIRTUAL Invasive Plant Symposium will be held on Wednesday, October 7, 2020.  The theme of the symposium is: Realistic Solutions to Managing Invasive Plants. This 10th biennial conference will feature regional and local experts as well as citizen volunteers sharing practical solutions for invasive plant management and actions needed to promote native species and improve wildlife habitat.

The Keynote presentation, CIPWG: Past, Present, Future, will feature Donna Ellis, Peter Picone, Charlotte Pyle, and Todd Mervosh. An Invasive Plant Management Roundtable will focus on successes and issues in invasive plant management from a land trust manager, a state land manager, a homeowner, and a professional in the invasive species management field. Concurrent afternoon sessions will encompass Large Scale Invasive Plant Management, Small Scale Invasive Plant Management, Tools & Timing of Invasive Plant Management, Native Alternatives, Aquatic Invasives, and Japanese Knotweed Management. A large array of Continuing Education Credits will be available for Connecticut and other States.
CIPWG’s first virtual symposium will take the form of a webcast with recorded talks and live Q&A. Registrants will be emailed a link to the virtual symposium in advance of the event on October 7th, and a link to the recording on Friday, October 9th.
Sponsored By:
The Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group (CIPWG)
Looking forward to seeing you!
Charlotte Pyle, for the CIPWG 2020 Symposium Planning Team

Aquatic Invasive Species – Video Interview with Jim Straub Hosted by Lindsey Kollmer

Lindsey Kollmer, a summer intern with our Connecticut Sea Grant program and UConn Extension, interviews Jim Straub. They discuss the management of two invasive aquatic plants in Massachusetts, water chestnut and hydrilla, to potentially gain knowledge of successful techniques that can be used in Connecticut to control these plants.

Meet Klaudia Sowizral: Sustainable Turf and Landscaping Intern

Klaudia SowizralHi everyone! My name is Klaudia Sowizral and I’m the Sustainable Turf and Landscaping intern. I’m a rising junior here at UConn pursuing a double major in Environmental Science with a concentration in Sustainable Systems, as well as a major in Sustainable Plant and Soil Science, and a minor in creative writing. My interests include sustainable agriculture and development as well as invasive species control and conservation. I’m currently developing written means of communication on sustainable land practices and invasive plant control for land and turf managers in the state of Connecticut. I have a background working with invasive aquatic plants as well as sustainable land management. I play D1 for the UConn Women’s Volleyball team, and outside of school I love the arts and make plenty of pottery and ceramic art.    

Silvopasturing at UMass – Tri-State SARE Virtual Field Workshop

man sitting at an Apple computerJoin us for a tour of the silvopasture work at the UMass Agricultural Learning Center in Amherst, MA. With Nikki Burton of UMass Extension, we will have an online tour of their silvopasture, which includes sheep within a chestnut grove, and follow that with questions and discussion.

The workshop will be Tuesday, August 18th from 9 – 11AM

To register and receive the link for the webinar visit:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd5IkTjdHvGjQvMzqXPOjjIXa5LA2UV6vOPmSU98z6r4Md1sw/viewform?fbclid=IwAR2irTFUNVv5zWgS8DuEdTQwQmE8_zhpbD7gC19f73pRo4EFzWzXarYjFAo

If you have questions that you would like to send in advance that Nikki can address, please email rachel.bespuda@uconn.edu. You can also submit your questions at our registration page.

Other Learning Opportunities

 

Public meeting about CT estuarine reserve set for Aug. 4

The CT-NERR (National Estuarine Research Reserve) is currently in a designation process that involves developing an environmental impact statement (EIS) and a management plan (MP).  When completed (estimated to be spring 2021), these documents will be submitted to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for review and approval.

As part of the EIS requirements, Connecticut will be hosting a virtual scoping meeting for the public on Aug. 4 between 7 and 9 p.m.  The purpose is to provide the public with information on the proposed reserve and to seek input on issues that the EIS should consider.   Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), together with steering team partners from University of Connecticut and NOAA, have worked hard to plan the meeting in such a way that it will be open and easy to access while still maintaining NOAA’s federal requirements for public comment meetings.

Members of the public and organizations are encouraged to attend this important meeting, which will be managed using the Webex virtual meeting application.

The meeting access details are as follows:

Public Scoping Meeting on Environmental Impact Statement for the CT National Estuarine Research Reserve:

Tuesday, Aug. 4, 7 to 9  p.m.

To join by computer:

https://uconn-cmr.webex.com/uconn-cmr/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=1200263550

To join by phone:

US Toll: +1-415-655-0002

Access code: 120 026 3550

To learn more about the CT NERR, visit: https://seagrant.uconn.edu/?p=6295

Original Post By Connecticut Sea Grant: https://seagrant.uconn.edu/2020/07/21/public-meeting-about-ct-estuarine-reserve-set-for-aug-4/

Meet Will Carta: CLEAR Intern

Will CartaMy name is Will Carta and I am interning with CLEAR through UConn CAHNR Extension. I am going to be a senior at UConn and I am majoring in Natural Resources with a concentration in Water Resources and Climate. Before transferring to UConn I spent two and a half years at Manchester Community College. I love fitness, fishing, and playing basketball with friends whenever I get the chance. I am currently working on updating CLEAR’s “State of Low Impact Development in Connecticut“ story map. Many of the links to various regulations throughout this story map are out of date, which I am in the process of updating. I have found that many of the towns that did not have a specific document for their Stormwater Management Plan when the story map was first created, now have one. This is great to see because it shows that more and more towns in Connecticut are acknowledging the importance of Stormwater Management as well as Low Impact Development and putting out regulations to deal with it. Along with the LID Story map, I will also be working on updating UConn’s Virtual Green Stormwater Infrastructure Campus Tour. This virtual tour highlights the University’s leadership role in addressing the impacts of stormwater runoff on water quality.

Learn more about the State of Low Impact Development in Connecticut at http://s.uconn.edu/stateoflid and the Virtual Green Stormwater Infrastructure Campus Tour at http://s.uconn.edu/gsitour

CVMDL Identifies Asian Longhorned Tick Submitted from NY

Adult Asian Longhorn Tick dorsal view
Photo: Holly McGinnis and Maureen Sims, UConn CVMDL

The Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (CVMDL) at UConn is reporting the identification of the Asian longhorned tick. This is the first time that CVMDL has identified this tick species. The ticks were submitted to CVMDL for identification and testing from the State of New York. Our laboratory notified New York State Animal and Public Health officials of the findings. This information was also reported to the USDA per regulations.

Ticks are disease-carrying arachnids that reside in moist areas, such as long grass and the leaf litter, and will latch onto humans and animals alike. Although there are many different species of ticks, people generally think of one tick species in particular when worrying about illness: the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis). While the Deer tick is predominantly known for transmitting the agent that causes Lyme disease (the corkscrew-shaped bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi), it can also carry other disease-causing agents. A single tick can transmit more than one infectious agent.

Identification of the Asian longhorned tick at CVMDL is significant because it means their population is increasing and that presents another public health concern. Asian longhorned ticks are not traditionally found in the Western Hemisphere but were first identified here in 2017.

Although Asian longhorned ticks are not as attracted to humans as pets and livestock, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and scientists at UConn’s CVMDL encourage people to take precautions against the tick. We are still uncertain of the diseases the Asian longhorned tick carries and spreads. The CDC offers guidelines to help people prevent tick bites.

CVMDL, part of the Department of Pathobiology in UConn’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, is on the frontlines of research and testing to keep humans and animals safe. For more information visit http://cvmdl.uconn.edu or learn how to submit a tick test at https://bit.ly/HowToTestTick.

Tree Mortality

UConn Collaborates on Gypsy Moth Cleanup

field and woodsConnecticut residents are all too familiar with the damage wrought by gypsy moths in recent years, particularly in the eastern part of the state.

In Windham County, for example, one of the most severely affected areas over the past few years, Canterbury first selectman Christopher Lippke puts the death of trees from gypsy moths along town’s roads at nearly 600.

With their voracious appetites, gypsy moth caterpillars are able to defoliate trees, particularly oaks. While healthy trees usually recuperate, the extent of the damage along with drought conditions over the past few years has impeded their recovery.

To help deal with the moths’ devastating impact on the environment, Lippke and many others in eastern Connecticut have engaged the resources of UConn Extension.

Tom Worthley, an associate extension professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, is at the forefront of this effort. He has met with homeowners, landowners, and community leaders throughout Connecticut’s Quiet Corner to offer advice on how to control the gypsy moth population even before an outbreak, what can be done in the midst of one, and how to mitigate tree damage.

Recently, he has spent much of his time addressing tree mortality. “During the spring and summer of 2018,” says Worthley, “the impact of previous years’ drought, defoliation, and secondary opportunistic pathogens became apparent as tens of thousands of roadside trees throughout eastern

Connecticut and thousands of acres of oak woodlands exhibited severe mortality.” He notes that both state forest lands and many private parcels in eastern Connecticut have been affected, with severe canopy loss on tens of thousands of acres, and partial canopy loss on many more, from the Rhode Island line west to the other side of the Connecticut River.

In Canterbury, Worthley worked with UConn students to assess the extent of the damage, recording stretches of roadway with up to 30 to 40 dead trees per mile. And he formed a working group of town and state officials, representatives from utility companies, and members of the forestry and arboricultural communities, to coordinate efforts to address the issues.

“Tom got the ball rolling for us,” says Lippke, the first selectman. “His expertise and knowledge are helping us be proactive rather than reactive.”

Dead trees can be hazardous. Falling trees and branches can injure people, damage property, hinder commuters and emergency responders, and bring down power lines. Dead wood also increases the risk of wildfires. Because of this,

Canterbury, like many other towns, is facing prohibitive costs, as the cost of cutting down a single tree can be hundreds of dollars.

In addition to local efforts, Worthley is also working at the statewide level. He has convened several meetings of stakeholders concerned about dead roadside trees as potential safety hazards, including representatives from the public utilities, the state departments of transportation and energy and environmental protection, professional arborists, tree wardens, and others. He emphasized the extent and seriousness of the problem, and encouraged communication and cooperation.

Worthley and other forestry experts guided Congressman Joe Courtney through Pachaug Forest in the spring of 2019 to survey tree damage. Recognizing the cost of clearing dead and dying trees, Courtney is exploring the possibility of using federal funds to address gypsy moth outbreaks.

“The scale and scope of tree mortality in eastern and central Connecticut is a potential public safety hazard and a problem beyond the capacity of towns, the Department of Transportation, and utilities,” says Worthley. “Dead trees are more dangerous the longer they are left to stand. Time is of the essence.”

Article by Jason M. Sheldon

Environmental Conditions Online

Your One Stop Shop for Maps and Geographic Information cteco.uconn.edu

CT ECO website on a computer screenTechnology has expanded the mapping world. No longer are maps static and flat. They are now interactive, zoom able and clickable. They allow focus on a location or a question and enable us to explore our backyard, town, state and world.

The Connecticut Environmental Conditions Online (CT ECO) website has become the de facto place in Connecticut to access statewide interactive maps. Anyone can browse natural resource layers, aerial imagery, elevation and more. In 2019, over 30,000 people explored Connecticut by visiting CT ECO, which is a partnership between Extension faculty from the UConn Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR) and the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

Because not all (or probably even most) of those 30,000 people are Geographic Information System (GIS) experts, CT ECO is designed to meet the needs of visitors with varying levels of technical expertise. Alongside all of the maps is an extensive amount of complementary information in the form of Data Guides, Help documents and How-to explanations.

The simplest map access is through the Map Catalog, that contains over 9000 pdf maps that cover every town in Connecticut. These same maps can be purchased at the CT DEEP store in Hartford.

There are currently 12 interactive Map Viewers on CT ECO and the list is growing. Popular Viewers include the Simple and Advanced Map Viewers, both of which contain a long list of map layers mostly maintained by CT DEEP. The Elevation Viewer hosts the state’s elevation information in the form of highly detailed ground topography including elevation values as well as hillshade, slope, aspect and 1-foot contours. Also incredibly useful is the Aerial imagery Viewer that contains 12 statewide sets of aerial imagery between 1990 and 2019 along with six coastal and regional datasets.

Project-based viewers are topically focused. The Long Island Sound Blue Plan Viewer is one of the most recent, providing access to the long list of data layers that are part of the Long Island Sound Blue Plan. Other Viewers include Sea Level Rise and Coastal Road Flooding Viewer, the Aquaculture Mapping Atlas, the CT MS4 Viewer that focuses on stormwater and the DEEP Inland Waters Fish Community Data Viewer.

Finally, mapping professionals and enthusiasts can connect to CT ECO map and image “services” within their desktop or online GIS. The Map and Image Services page lists the over 100 available services.

Users, Uses, and Benefits

Responses to a survey conducted regarding the value of CT ECO revealed the breadth of users. They come from private business, state agencies (like Department of Transportation, Department of Economic and Community Development, Department of Safety and Public Protection, Department of Labor, CT DEEP and even the Office of Film, TV & Digital Media), regional and local government, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, utilities, citizens and more.

CT ECO is also used by hikers, landscape architects, land trusts and metal detectorist clubs (who knew?). The wide audience reflects the broad uses of CT ECO, such as preparing site assessments, permit applications and permit review, engineering projects, traffic plans, wetlands applications like identifying vernal pools, review of site conditions, identifying zoning violations, locating addresses, habitat suitability models, trail maps, forestry, coastal resilience, mining archaeology, appraisals, school projects and more.

It is difficult to put a dollar value on the services provided by CT ECO. Certainly having a central, statewide repository for mapping data, limited as it might be, reduces redundancy and increases efficiency. Many respondents from the survey report saving significant amounts of both money and time. Several users estimate saving over $100,000, with others stating that the time saved is “immeasurable.”

A State of Connecticut GIS professional said, “CT ECO has become the default location for accessing GIS data within the State of Connecticut. The work that the CT ECO staff has done to provide this data to the public has been nothing short of extraordinary.” It is exciting that UConn Extension is filling the critical need for so many different users and uses of Connecticut’s geospatial information.

Article by Emily Wilson