The public’s interest in low water use and sustainable turfgrass is increasing. Poor installation and maintenance can adversely impact water use of turfgrass. Workers on the job site are frequently temporary, seasonal workers, and rarely attend tradeshows and other educational venues. Yet they are often directly responsible for the sustainability of turfgrass in the landscape.
Trainings were developed with funding from the Georgia Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Trainings provided information on turfgrass installation and maintenance in clear, simple language and promoted sustainable, low water use turfgrass systems. The trainings were short, none exceeded 30 minutes, allowing them to be easily incorporated into the workday, either before crews left in the morning, at lunch, or after crews returned in the evening.
Trainings were held in 16 counties in Georgia, often on-site at landscape companies. A total of 2,251 workers received training. The participants received a Certificate of Completion.
In addition to the educational impact, supervisors and business owners noted other measurable benefits. After going through training, several groups decided to sharpen their lawn mower blades more often. Two groups planned on calibrating mowers to make sure mowing heights were adjusted to the turfgrass species. Another company used the training to teach their employees to change damaged irrigation sprinkler heads, freeing up supervisors for other duties. Workers mastered the material, improving 30% on post-training evaluations. Business owners and supervisors frequently asked for additional training. One supervisor noted, “Everyone commented on how informative this session was … they gained a lot of knowledge.” All resources created for these trainings are available on-line.
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