Our green design team is acquiring acronym alphabet credentials behind our names at a clip. Gentle Gardener Green Design team collectively now comprises 4 Virginia Certified Horticulturalists (VCH), 2 Virginia Society of Landscape Designers certified designers (VSLD) 1 LEED* Green Associate, an MBA, a certified permaculture designer, the firm is licensed in Virginia as a Nursery Stock Dealer.
The latest credential is in: I am now certified by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation as a Nutrient Management Planner for Turf and Landscape, No. 714. We planners appear to have no clever acronym, but given how challenging the exam was and the prep class, I will probably answer to"Certifiable NutMan".
Taking our lead from agriculture, where conservation and Nutrient Management Plans have been in use for a good 20-30 years by farmers who are stewards of their land (and also poor
, unwilling to spend a penny more for fertilizer than they have to) , those of us certified by the Commonwealth to write plans for urban (that is, non-ag) turf and landscapes, have a tall order ahead of us. With sub/urban sales of fertilizer at some eight times the rate per acre of ag N and P and increasing right through the recession at about 6-8% per year, plus conversion of ag land to developed, it's no Miracle that our water quality problems Grow and GroW.
Virginia recently submitted its second draft Watershed Implementation Plan to reflect the myriad bottom up, stream by stream, watershed by watershed, plans by localities to clean up the entire #Chesapeake Bay drainage (VA is not alone; water 6 states and the District of Columbia drain to the Bay).
The Commonwealth of Virginia has just committed to managing over a half million acres of private and public sub/urban (that is, non-ag) lands via Nutrient Management Plans written by certified Nutrient Management Planners for Turf and Landscape. Right now, only about 15,000 acres of such lands have written three-year plans. In five years, by 2017, VA intends to have over 350,000 acres of private and public non-ag, sub/urban turf and landscape responsibly stewarded by three-year Nutrient Management Plans........twenty times the acreage we have now.
In January a small publication named The Wall Street Journal published the findings of the study indicating that the cleanup of the #Chesapeake Bay is, in fact, a jobs creator. We certainly intend for it to be so; we would like our clients and others to spend more on Gentle Gardener brainpower to write nutrient management plans for them based on sound science, and less money on over-fertilizing with nitrogen and phosphorus without a plan.
For a Nutrient Management Plan and sustainable site maintenance plan custom written for your landscape, please call 540 832 7031 or book at www.gentlegardener.com
Here's a copy of our media release for Historic Garden Week - let's make an historic leap forward in protecting soils and water in Virginia!
SUSTAINABILITY NEWS APRIL 2012 - for immediate release
April 17, 2012
BARBOURSVILLE, VA - Rockwell attains certification credential for stream-friendly landscape planning
Virginia R. Rockwell, owner and principal designer of Gentle Gardener Green Design, has been designated a certified Nutrient Management Planner for turf and landscape by The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Division of Stormwater Management. The certification demonstrates a planner’s expertise to competently compose and execute nutrient plans in line with the Commonwealth’s efforts to reduce fertilizer runoff from residential gardens, lawns, athletic fields, golf courses, commercial landscapes and university, town, city, federal and Commonwealth-owned lands.
A written plan for maintaining turf and landscape sustainably over three years is a new service now available to clients of the established Barboursville firm’s certified landscape designers and horticulturists. Gentle Gardener has long advocated responsible land stewardship practices including the use of proper and organic amendments, accurate rate calculations and precise application timing.
“The idea is to apply brains first, then apply fertilizer as needed. These practices improve effects on waterways, soil, plants, animals and people,” said Rockwell. She explains that runoff nitrogen and phosphorous in streams can be curtailed; Virginians can spend less by applying only what is truly needed, and improve the health of ecosystems and economies downstream. “Nutrient management planning makes good economic sense. We all depend on clean water for life and livelihoods,” she adds.
The goal for Virginia counties and cities whose streams drain into the Chesapeake Bay, as described March 30, 2012 in the latest Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan, is to rapidly increase the acreage of turf and landscape managed with Nutrient Management Plans written by Rockwell and her fellow certified nutrient management planners to more than a half million acres.
To learn more, please visit www.gentlegardener.com and www.dcr.virginia.gov/vabaytmdl/documents/baytmdlp2wip.pdf.
Media inquiries can be directed to Ann P. Reid at (804) 501-9888 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.