The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will hold four free workshops in August on alternative land care and pest management, Commissioner Joe Martens announced today.  Cornell Cooperative Extension will provide introductory training on alternatives to conventional pesticides, including organic methods, which will better protect the environment and public health.


The workshops are part of DEC’s Be Green in the Great Lakes Project, funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).  The GLRI aims to address matters in the Great Lakes ecosystem, which is home to hundreds of species of fish, wildlife and flora. Land care businesses, certified pesticide applicators, schools, municipalities and the general public from the 33 New York counties in the Great Lakes Basin, are encouraged to attend.


“The Great Lakes are the largest system of surface freshwater on earth, and New Yorkers rely on them for drinking water, recreation and beautiful vistas,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said.  “Improper land care and pest management can affect water quality and soil conditions, so it is imperative that we provide education on proper care so that vital ecosystems in the Great Lakes basin aren’t adversely affected.”


The workshops will cover introductory information on: plant selection and planting techniques, soil structure and testing, pest management using mechanical or cultural techniques, minimum risk pesticides, organic methods and management and causes of plant diseases.  Four recertification credits will be available for certified applicators who complete the training.


Workshops will be held at the locations below from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., with registration at 8:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided.


August 2 – Buffalo

Daemen College
Wick Center
4380 Main Street
Amherst, NY 14226

August 3 – Rochester
Roberts Wesleyan College
2301 Westside Drive
Rochester, NY 14624

August 8 – Watertown
Italian American Civic Association
192 Bellew Avenue
Watertown, NY 13601

August 9 – Syracuse
Best Western Plus Carrier Circle
6555 Old Collamer Road South
East Syracuse, New York 13057

Participants should register by July 19, as space is limited. For more information about workshop registration and locations, visit:, call 518-402-8651, or e-mail