On Friday, January 17, Lake Agawam Conservancy (LAC) will present Conventional to Organic, Transforming Landscapes to Preserve Our Water, an educational forum geared towards landscaping professionals, but open to the public.
“Conventional to Organic, Transforming Landscapes to Preserve Our Water is the first in a series of seminars sponsored by the newly formed Lake Agawam Conservancy to educate the community about how to reduce the chemical load in lawn care practices in order to protect local water quality, our environment and human health,” Meghan Nadosy Magyar, Conservancy member, explained. “This first seminar is designed specifically for landscape professionals, but any interested community members are welcome to attend. All the Lake Agawam Conservancy seminars will be free and open to the public.”
LAC was established by a group of lakeside residents, concerned citizens and local officials. The organization’s mission is to restore Lake Agawam in Southampton.
Conventional to Organic, Transforming Landscapes to Preserve Our Water will focus on safe, healthy, toxin-free landscape practices. The morning will feature presentations by local experts who will cover everything from contaminants in local waters, monitoring local waters, how to establish healthy ecosystems, and much more.
The event will commence at 10 a.m. with a discussion with Nadosy Magyar, who will speak about LAC, as well as Edwina von Gal, who will cover the morning’s agenda.
The first session (10:15 to 10:45 a.m.) will revolve around Groundwater and Surface water issues on Long Island with speaker Kevin McDonald of The Nature Conservancy, as well as local issues and influences such as “why the water system is vulnerable to contamination; aging septic systems, nutrient-rich and contaminated ground water; and water quality monitoring and recent legislative strategies (Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP), Long Island Groundwater Monitoring Report, Suffolk County Comprehensive Groundwater Management Plan, etc.).”
The next session (10:45 to 11:15 a.m.) will delve into Landscape Solutions to the Watershed Crisis with Pat Nadosy, PhD, covering everything from the formation of healthy ecosystems that utilize toxin-free procedures to making soil management a priority to using weeds as a gauge of soil health and tools for their removal to using natives, pollinator and bird-friendly plants to creation of buffers next to water bodies.
The final session (11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.) will encompass a year in the life of an organic landscape with Tony Piazza and Paul Wagner. They will offer “a comprehensive overview of applied integrated pest management (IPM) practices throughout the year to maximize the cultural practices, biological, mechanical and plant resistance techniques of addressing common problems that lead to pesticide use; water conservation and mowing practices related to ‘weed and feed’ applications and how to change this dynamic, predicting disease activity to contain and reduce spreading; selection of trees and shrubs for the landscape that are drought tolerant and not susceptible to pest attack; what changes to expect in the actual landscape when transitioning from pesticide and fertilizer dependency to organic methods with specific advice on business practices and landscape protocols.”
At 1 p.m. there will be a lunch break. The event will wrap up with a Q&A at 1:30 p.m.
There is no fee to attend, but advanced registration is appreciated. DEC license applicator credits are available for this course. Those interested should bring proper credentials.
Southampton Arts Center is located at 25 Jobs Lane in Southampton. For more information, visit southamptonartscenter.org.