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For Release: Friday, September 20, 2013

DEC Sponsors Workshops on the Use of Pesticide Alternatives at Schools and Day Care Centers

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host six regional workshops across the state during September and October to provide training on the use of alternatives to pesticides at schools and day care centers.

Grassroots Environmental Education will provide introductory training for administrators and other school and day care personnel on the basic elements of grounds and pest management. New York State laws prohibit the use of most pesticides on turf, athletic and playing fields and grounds at schools and day care centers. The workshops are designed to facilitate school and day care center compliance with that prohibition.

"Proper management of playgrounds, athletic fields and outdoor pests in schools and day care centers is essential to protecting the health of children," DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. "These training workshops will provide important information on alternatives to conventional pesticides and help schools and day care centers create safe environments for their students."

The workshops will cover introductory information and resource topics including: site assessment techniques; establishing and maintaining soil health; choosing appropriate species for planting; minimum risk pesticides, and much more. Four DEC recertification credits will be available for certified applicators who complete the training.

DEC received funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the workshops.

Space is limited at the workshops. To register, contact Grassroots Environmental at (516) 883-0887 or New York Turf Training (link in the right column.) Workshops will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the following locations (lunch provided).

September 25 - Long Island
Old Bethpage Village Restoration, 1303 Round Swamp Rd, Old Bethpage, NY 11804

September 30 - Syracuse
Syracuse Center of Excellence, 727 East Washington Street, Syracuse, NY 13210

October 1 - Albany
Cornell University Cooperative Extension, 24 Martin Road, Voorheesville, NY 12186

October 7 - Rochester
City of Rochester Water Bureau, 10 Felix Street, Rochester, NY 14608

October 8 - Buffalo
Tifft Nature Preserve, 1200 Fuhrmann Blvd., Buffalo, NY 14203

DEC encourages attendance at a workshop. For those unable to attend in person, Grassroots will offer a condensed version of the training through a webinar on October 16, 2013. For more information on training for schools and day care centers and to register, visit the link on the right side DEC's webpage.

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