What is the UMass Extension Landscape, Nursery and Urban Forestry Program?
The UMass Extension Landscape, Nursery and Urban Forestry Team operates within the Agriculture & Landscape Program of UMass Extension. The team works closely with the UMass Extension Turf Team to educate landscape, nursery and turf professionals by providing programs and research-based information on the best horticultural practices and technology for environmental stewardship in nursery and landscape management. The core of the program is a self-managed group of educators and specialists in weed science, entomology, plant pathology, plant materials, alternative pest controls, and diagnostics. Working with the largest and fastest growing commercial agricultural segment in Massachusetts continually challenges the Landscape, Nursery and Urban Forestry Team to address the industry's immediate problems and to anticipate future educational requirements. The landscape and nursery industry contributes an estimated $2 billion in sales to the Massachusetts economy, and employs over 12,000 individuals at approximately 5,000 companies.
The team conducts its most visible outreach work at the bi-annual Green School, a 10-week comprehensive educational training program for green industry professionals. The series of seminars and workshops is designed to provide training in horticulture fundamentals and the relationship of those fundamentals to environmental quality. Green School is in session every other fall. Another way garden center managers, lawn care operators, grounds managers, landscapers, and tree wardens can benefit from the team's services is on the web. A weekly Landscape Message that reports emerging insects and disease outbreaks on a weekly basis is available online. Clientele can also talk to a real person for technical support. The team conducted close to 4,000 phone consultations this year. Other available resources for the green industry include two newsletters, "Hort Notes" and "Garden Clippings."
What does UMass Extension do?
The mission of UMass Extension is to improve the health, well-being and security of families and communities, conserve and enhance natural resources, and strengthen agriculture and food systems. We fulfill our mission by utilizing the research and teaching capacity of the University of Massachusetts Amherst to generate and communicate knowledge while creating approaches, methods, and tools for solving problems and making informed decisions. UMass Extension links the Massachusetts Land Grant University with a larger community of people in collaborative partnerships to address issues of fundamental importance to the people of Massachusetts, New England, and the nation.
UMass Extension has the unique capability to bring the university's depth and breadth of knowledge and academic resources to bear in identifying and solving problems. The research and teaching programs of UMass Extension link different departments together and facilitate mutually beneficial collaborations between the university and external organizations, individuals, and businesses. In so doing, UMass Extension makes a vital contribution to the public and to the educational experiences and research opportunities of the University.