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Community IPM Program Progress Report

Delivering Effective Educational Programs

Susan MacAverySusan MacAvery, CCE - Orange county, spearheads educational IPM programs in horticulture.

The Community IPM Program has taught thousands of educators and consumers about IPM through inservice trainings, presentations, publications, and other interactions.

Inservice Training and Workshops
In 1996 and 1997, IPM program staff developed and delivered two inservice trainings to approximately 75 participants. To determine what CCE educators needed to learn about community IPM to be effective, program staff surveyed association directors and consumer and commercial horticulture Extension educators. Information ranking highest on the "request list" concerned structural pests, landscapes, homes and grounds, and schools.

The first Community IPM inservice focused on the management of pantry pests, lice, cockroaches, carpenter ants, flies, and mice. The second inservice familiarized Extension personnel with the latest IPM research on landscape and turf, including how to prevent winter damage. A third inservice, on wildlife, is being planned.

In the past three years, Extension educators and Community IPM program staff have conducted 12 IPM workshops to meet the needs of more than 500 stakeholders. Six workshops on school IPM were held in August, 1998, in different locations throughout the state in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Conservation. During these one-day events, IPM program staff demonstrated pest management methods for interiors and grounds to school staff, private consultants, government personnel, and Extension field staff.

In 1997, during a hands-on turf workshop in Monroe County, Brian Eshenaur provided information about fertilization, grub sampling, renovation, and IPM as a replacement for routine pesticides. As a result, 95% of participants planned to monitor for insects and 94% said they would try to spot treat instead of applying blanket sprays. The next year, in a one-day workshop, Brian taught IPM principles to 60 people who manage turf on athletic fields. Anna deCordova of CCE—Rockland County, working closely with the Community IPM Program in 1997, taught 45 administrators and custodians from seven school districts how to practice IPM in schools.

Extension educators who attend workshops share the new information with their constituents. For example, in only three months during 1998, CCE—Nassau County extended IPM information to 3,300 professionals via an agricultural forum, PRO TIPS newsletter, Master Gardener training, and the Horticultural Information Center (phone, mail, personal visits, and recorded messages).

In the past four years, Community IPM Program staff have taught 10,000 listeners about ways to practice IPM, pests, and natural enemies. A sampling of settings: NYS Turfgrass Association’s annual meeting; Nassau-Suffolk Landscape Gardeners Association; the NYS Vegetable Conference in Syracuse; Nurserymen and lawn care professionals in Albany; NYCAP school workshops; Turf and landscape training sessions at Elmira College; Basic Horticulture School in Rochester; and BCERF (Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors) programs.

Eleven issues of Community IPM News, a six-page newsletter, have been produced since 1994. The readership of this free newsletter has grown from several dozen to more than 400. Issues feature the latest IPM research results from Cornell and ways to use these in the field; specifics about how the private sector (arborists, landscapers, the pest control industry, and others) practice IPM; and information about Program activities.

The Program supported Branching Out: An Integrated Pest Management Newsletter for Trees and Shrubs, for two years, enabling the editors to continue providing valuable information to nearly 700 subscribers. In addition, an article written by Program staff explaining how to choose trees with natural resistance to pests (to decrease pesticide use) was printed in Extension newsletters throughout the state and reprinted in American Nurseryman, reaching thousands of readers.

Brochures/Fact Sheets
Four brochures explaining how to manage pests with IPM methods were produced, advertised, and distributed in the past two years. Topics included the carpenter ant, the cockroach, the house mouse, and the white grub. Another brochure describing the program was produced in 1996 and is routinely updated. Because of IPM funding, CCE—Monroe County was able to mail turf fact sheets to workshop participants throughout the season.

Manuals and Books
A 150-page school IPM resource manual was developed to accompany the School IPM Workshops, and 700 additional copies were made available to the DEC for future distribution. Included in this manual were guidelines for developing a school IPM policy, a document that was developed, reviewed, and produced by the Community IPM Program.

With the assistance of IPM funds, the Urban Horticulture Institute revised Urban Trees: Site Assessment Selection for Stress Tolerance Planting. They made the manual available to landscapers and others to help them properly select trees and sites that would minimize the need for pest management, and created a companion web site with a searchable database and color slides.

To ensure that Extension educators had access to comprehensive IPM information, the Program provided the book Common Sense Pest Control at below list price to 50 workshop participants in 1997.

Electronic Communication
Program staff developed a website featuring the Community IPM Program that informs the public about recent developments and provides information on pests, management alternatives, and program activities. The Program’s Extension Educator established a listserv of about a hundred professionals across the country with expertise in urban IPM. People can find information quickly and inexpensively via this listserv and through a searchable IPM database that the Program made available via the web in 1998.

Other Media
Program staff spoke three times about IPM and pesticide-related issues for Extension’s "Second Tuesday" satellite downlink and related programs for counties. County Extension offices use newspapers, radio, and television to share results from IPM-funded projects. For example, in 1997 CCE staff in Monroe County promoted turf educational programs and explained IPM topics through the media, reaching a potential audience of 343,000.

With assistance from the Program, Extension entomologist Carolyn Klass completed a Home Grounds IPM slideset that uses real-life scenarios to explain IPM concepts. It is available to Extension through the Homes and Grounds library.

Face to Face
Since 1994, the Community IPM Program has worked closely with Extension offices in three counties to implement IPM in local schools. The Baldwin Union Free School District (Nassau County), Rockland County schools, and Cortland County schools have put programs in place for grounds and interiors.

More than a dozen golf courses have been included in demonstration programs for grubs and other pests. CCE—Orange County worked for three years with two local golf courses and was able to use IPM principles to cut both the number of pesticide applications and the pounds of active ingredient in half. Five golf course superintendents in the capital region reduced insecticide use for grubs by basing their pesticide treatments on scouting information.

With help from the IPM Program, CCE—Westchester conducted a pilot project of eight lawn-care professionals, teaching them to scout for white grubs prior to treating for them, and to apply insecticides only as needed.