Partnership provides required training for maintenance gardeners
Maintenance gardeners often apply pesticides in urban landscapes, but the majority of them aren’t certified as required by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR). As a result, they often aren’t aware of safe pesticide use practices and IPM.
UC IPM teamed up with CDPR, county agricultural commissioners, and practitioners to create a new outreach, education, and applicator certification program to prepare maintenance gardeners to qualify as pesticide applicators (category Q) while providing training on IPM and pesticide alternatives.
UC IPM created educational packages for both English- and Spanish-speaking gardeners. Each package includes a study guide (the UC ANR book Lawn and Residential Landscape Pest Control), an illustrated workbook containing exercises and practice exam questions, and a curriculum for trainers. The curriculum includes a set of seven PowerPoint presentations, a script, and a list of props and activities that trainers can use during a four- to six-hour class. CDPR plans to release new exams for category Q in early 2010, drawing from this material.
The San Luis Obispo County Agricultural Commissioner’s office will be piloting the training materials in a series of eight separate classes for maintenance gardeners in their county, half in Spanish and half in English, through the end of 2010. They temporarily will allow maintenance gardeners to receive the training in lieu of paying a fine for not having the proper applicator certification.
More information about the training program and workbook, including the narrated slide show, is posted on the UC IPM Web site at www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/categoryQ.
Mary Lou Flint,
Associate Director for Urban and Community IPM, UC Statewide IPM Program
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