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New York to designate organic yard care providers

While the term “organic” must meet strict guidelines for use with food, other products and services can pretty much use the term indiscriminately. So, if you’re thinking about hiring “green” yard care services this year, you still have to ask a lot of questions and otherwise do your homework.

That’s changing in New York, however: this year, the state is rolling out its Be Green Organic Yards NY program. When fully up and running, the program will provide New Yorkers with a list of businesses that have been approved to display a service mark demonstrating their knowledge of organic practices. To receive the designation, businesses must not only agree to avoid synthetic chemicals, but also take a training course that educates employees in a full range of organic considerations: from chemical-free pest control and fertilization to soil health and structure, proper plant and lawn maintenance, and environmentally-sensitive plant selection. The program also requires continuing education by service providers.

Currently, the program is seeking course providers for the training required; five have already been approved. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation expects to have a list of businesses that have undergone training, and otherwise been approved, ready by this Fall.

A press release from course provider Bartlett Tree Experts claims that the program will also give designations to homeowners who register with the program; the DEC’s description of the program doesn’t mention this, but it’s an interesting possibility… would such a designation raise property value…?

What do you think? A good move for New York home and property owners? A means to increase awareness of organic yard care? Let us know…

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Image credit: Greg’s Landscaping at Flickr under a Creative Commons license