Sustainable Landscapes

Designing sustainable landscapes across urban-rural interfaces

Well Water Testing Available

faucet with running water
Photo: Kara Bonsack

Have you tested your drinking water lately?

Even if your water tastes and smells fine, that doesn’t always mean it’s safe to drink….

Through a grant from USDA, UConn Extension is hosting a well water workshop to provide information about where your water comes from and possible contaminants. A low-cost ($50) water test is available to purchase.

We are hosting a workshop at Three Rivers Community College, Room C101 on Thursday, March 7th from 6 pm to 7 pm. Visit to register.

Download the flier.

UConn Extension’s Work With Climate Smart Agriculture

UConn Extension is dedicated to continuing to push Climate Smart Agriculture forward. Through workshops Extensionyoung lettuce plants in trays reaches farmers throughout Connecticut on how to farm for a sustainable future and keep them up to date on new improvements within agriculture. UConn Extension’s Solid Ground provides programs like the Climate Smart Adaptation Strategies for Beginning Farmers. Allowing incoming farmers to learn environmentally friendly ways to grow their crops and raise their livestock. Our Educators and Specialists work on important research, like Shuresh Ghimire’s work on Biodegradable Plastic Mulch, and how it permits growers in the state to find alternatives to plastic mulch without eliminating the benefits it brings. While working with organizations like SARE and USDA projects like improving efficiency with dairy- beef crosses and sustainable management of crop lands and forest push forward research in these fields. There is even research being done with nutrient management, with applying fertilizer and spreading manure on fields, as to not over apply on the fields which can run off and affect the surrounding environment.


Learn more about our work:

Job Openings in UConn Extension

3 men in a greenhouse with lettuceThere are two jobs openings in UConn Extension. Assistant/ Associate Extension Educator for Agriculture Business Management and Assistant/ Associate Extension Educator for Controlled Environment Agriculture. Both closing January 31, 2024. For more information and to apply go to 

Assistant/ Associate Extension Educator for Agriculture Business Management is a full-time, 11-month appointment for a non-tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant/Associate Extension Educator. The successful candidate is expected to develop strong working relationships with producers throughout the state; interact with UConn faculty, state, and federal agency personnel; and develop interdisciplinary extension programs.

Assistant/ Associate Extension Educator for Controlled Environment Agriculture is a full-time, 11-month appointment for a non-tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant/Associate Extension Educator in CAHNR to collectively advance Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA). The successful candidate is expected to develop strong working relationships with producers throughout the state; interact with UConn faculty, state, and federal agency personnel; and develop interdisciplinary extension programs.


Farm Risk Management Program 2023-2024 FREE Programs

UConn Extension is offering plenty of Farm Risk Management Programs in the upcoming 2024 year, and they are FREE! 
Woman in garden
Options to Mitigate Farm Financial Losses 
When: Tuesday, January 16, 2024 
Where: CLiCK, 41 Club Rd, Windham, CT 
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Crop Insurance Programs 
When: Tuesday, January 23, 2024
 Where: Tolland County Extension Center, 24 Hyde Ave, Vernon, CT
 Time: 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
 Lunch provided 
Business Planning and Financial Benchmarking Program
Will include information on farm insurance, health insurance and retirement programs 
When: Tuesday, February 6, 2024
 Where: Tolland County Extension Center, 24 Hyde Ave, Vernon, CT
 Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 
Options to Mitigate Farm Financial Losses
 When: Monday, February 26, 2024 
Where: Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation Museum, 110 Pequot Trail, Mashantucket, CT 
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
Our popular One-on-One Sessions with Professionals
 In-person: When/where: Wednesday, February 7, 5:00 -8:00 p.m.
 Tolland County Extension Center, 24 Hyde Ave, Vernon
 Wednesday, February 21, 5:00 -8:00 p.m.
Tolland County Extension Center, 24 Hyde Ave, Vernon
 Monday, March 4, 9:00 – 3:00 p.m.
 Middlesex County Extension Center 1066 Saybrook Road, Haddam
 Virtual: When: Tuesday, February 13, 9:00 – 3:00 p.m.
 Tuesday, March 5, 9-3 pm 
 Tuesday, March 12, 9-3 pm

Did You Know: Cleaning New Haven Coastal Area

Summer may be over, but cleaning our coastal areas can be a yearlong project. On August 12 of 2023, volunteers spent two hours collecting over 110 pounds of trash in the Long Wharf Drive and the Long Wharf Nature Preserve in New Haven. the cleanup kicking off the 2023 #DontTrashLISound campaign led by Connecticut Sea Grant and the 2023 Connecticut Cleanup season led by Save the Sound. The two organizations partnered on the cleanup, which netted 12 bags with more than 110 pounds of trash. Two other organizations, Connecticut Clean Communities and Garbo Grabber, a company that makes trash pickup equipment, cleaned an adjoining section of Long Wharf Drive that morning, filling nine bags. Proving that coastal clean ups are much needed.
Woman walking on the New Haven coast with her bucket of trash
One of the 17 volunteers at the Aug. 12 cleanup heads into the Long Wharf Nature Preserve to pick up trash.

The cleanup launched the seventh annual #DontTrashLISound campaign of cleanups, social media posts and giveaways of popular “Protect Our Wildlife” stickers for reusable water bottles and travel mugs by Connecticut Sea Grant. The 2023 theme, “Love the coast—pitch the plastic” calls attention to the prevalence of plastic trash in the environment and encourages people to reduce single-use plastics by choosing reusable items instead, and making sure trash is disposed of properly.

The campaign continued on through International Coastal Cleanup Day on Sept. 16. It is one of several actions being taken by the Connecticut and New York Sea Grant programs and their partners to implement the Long Island Sound Marine Debris Action Plan since its completion in 2022.

Remember keeping the outdoors clean if everyone’s responsibility. If you are going on a walk and see trash, pick it up. We can all help throughout the year. Let’s keep the coast and other parts of Connecticut clean!



Registration now open for winter UConn Ornamental and Turf Course


Registration now open!

Winter 2024 Ornamental and Turf Short Course

Wednesdays 5:30-7 pm, from January 10 – March 13, 2024 

Register Here

More information at

Ornamental and Turf Online Short Course Description 

UConn Extension offers an online Ornamental & Turf Short Course in the fall and winter, which helps students prepare for the pesticide applicator supervisory exam. 

This Short Course is an in-depth review of the information necessary to study for and pass the Ornamental and Turf/Golf Course Superintendents State of Connecticut Supervisory Pesticide Applicator Certification (category 3A) exam. A student that completes all the modules, works through the quizzes, and studies the resource materials independently should be able to pass both the written and oral state exam successfully. 

This short course consists of eight modules that the student can complete independently: Pesticide Laws and Regulations, Pesticide Safety, Botany, Plant Pathology and Ornamental Plant Diseases, Entomology and Insect Pests of Woody Ornamentals, Area and Dosage Calculations, Turf Management, and Weed Management. Each module consists of learning objectives, topic sections, and slides with a recorded narrative, and closes with a quiz on the material. The modules can be completed and revisited at any time while the student is enrolled in the course. 

An instructor will meet virtually with the students weekly on Wednesdays at 5:30-7 pm to review each module topic and answer questions. Each weekly class includes a basic overview of the subject and highlights specific pests, their biology, and control. There will be a total of 10 sessions, including 8 sessions for modules, one introductory session, and one optional wrap up session for questions. 

Expect to spend study time reviewing each module topic outside of the review class. The more time you spend studying the module topics and reviewing each module’s post-quiz, the more beneficial the course will be for preparing for the final short course exam and the state exam. 

Registration is $375 and is available online with a credit card at: 

UConn Extension Marketplace 

Please register as a guest and select NONE for shipping. 

Questions? Please contact Alyssa Siegel-Miles, 




The Pesticide Applicator Core Manual, the required training manual for the course, can be downloaded free at National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Core Manual.

You can also buy a physical copy of this manual from UConn Marketplace:  

Core Manual (pickup in Vernon CT option) or  

Core Manual (shipping option)


An optional manual, “Ornamental and Turf, Category 3 Manual” ($43.00 plus shipping and handling), is also available from Cornell at: 


Check for used copies of these books with your colleagues or online. 


Information regarding testing and other information can be found on the CT DEEP website links: 


Information for Supervisory Certification is at: 

Questions? Please contact Alyssa Siegel-Miles,

Workshop: Options to Mitigate Farm Financial Losses

Workshop Announcement:
Join UConn Extension at CLiCK in Windham for a workshop on how to alleviate financial issues due to climate change and better understand United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) programs as well as crop insurance and farm finances.
Tuesday, January 16, 2024
9:00 a.m. – 12 noon

Annual Vegetable and Small Fruit Growers Conference

We are pleased to announce that our annual Vegetable & Small Fruit Growers’ Conference will be held at the UConn Storrs Campus on January 9, 2024. For details, please see the registration information and agenda below.

Register online

To pay by check or email

Trade Show Exhibitor

For any further questions email or call 860 875-3331

agenda with blueberries on the left side on the image

information on how to register as a participant and trade show


Guide showcases geology, ecology, wildlife of CT shoreline

Front Cover of the guide, with a CT Sandy Shores photoConnecticut Sea Grant and the Connecticut College Arboretum are pleased to announce the publication of Connecticut’s Sandy Shores: An Introduction to the Geology, Plants and Animals, a 130-page guidebook with dozens of color photos and illustrations along with explanatory text about the ecology, geology, common species and why Connecticut’s sandy beaches differ from many others along the Atlantic seaboard.

Printed on water resistant paper, the book is intended as an educational companion for visits to the shoreline by anyone interested in learning about the coastal environment, including formal and informal educators, birders, artists, students and the general public.

“Our hope in developing this guide is that people can take this guide to the beach in any season and appreciate and understand this highly dynamic system, especially in light of the changing climate and its impacts on Connecticut’s shoreline,” said Juliana Barrett, CT Sea Grant coastal habitat specialist, UConn extension educator and lead author.

For more information about the guide, and how to order, visit the website.

Roadside Revegetation

Earlier this month, Laura Urban presented a lecture to our CLIR (Center for Learnign in Retirement) community: The Roadside to a Thriving Native Ecosystem; we are pleased to announce that the slideshow portion of the presentation is now available to view on the CLIR website!

Click the image above or the direct link below to access this informative slideshow!