Sustainable Landcare Accreditation

2020 Training Open for Enrollment

Feb. 11 – 14, 2020 | 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

$475 on or before Mon., Jan. 13
$525 after Mon., Jan. 13
Botany Hall Auditorium at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Additional attendees from the same business receive a 50% discount — use code TEAM50 on the shopping cart page.

Partial scholarships are available for nonprofit, government and school staff as well as qualifying individuals. Call 412/441-4442 ext. 3925 or email for more details.

Educational credits are pending for the following: Pesticide Recertification, PA Certified Horticulturist, Sustainable Landscape Certification and ASLA credits.

Register Today

About the Program

Landscape and lawn care professionals looking to distinguish themselves as true sustainable practicitioners should pursue Phipps' Sustainable Landcare Accreditation Training. Phipps models this intensive training after the NOFA Organic Landcare Program in Connecticut, whose experienced national trainers work with local landcare experts to teach the program. The course covers topics such as soil ecology; site analysis and design; organic pest, weed and disease control; storm water management; invasive plants and more. The registration fee includes catered lunches and the NOFA standards textbook. 

A Professional Standard of Excellence

Demand for sustainable landcare is growing in our region. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is uniquely positioned to provide the educational resources for landscape and lawn care professionals who want to set themselves apart from others. This accreditation offers a well-rounded curriculum which covers organic landcare principles, practices, design and maintenance. The course is essential to garden center employees, horticulturists, conservation property managers, master gardeners, educators and others.

Good for Business

Aside from promoting this prestigious accreditation to prospective clients, Phipps Sustainable Landcare Accredited Professionals will benefit from Phipps’ communications network as well as the Phipps brand, which stands for high quality horticulture and sustainability. 


Designed for landscape and lawn care professionals looking to distinguish themselves as true sustainable practitioners, this intensive training is modeled after the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Organic Land Care Program. NOFA has been providing organic landcare training for nearly 15 years and is a member of the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movement working to assist the organic movement in its full diversity.

Download the Standards Book

Instructors and Course Curriculum

The course is led by national landcare professionals and local experts in the field. Experienced NOFA trainers pair up with local professionals and environmental organizations, such as Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Tree Pittsburgh, Three Rivers Wet Wether and Penn State Extension to share cutting edge sustainable landcare methods and techniques. The well-balanced faculty provide a depth of knowledge on the topic while sharing regional examples and solutions. The course covers topics such as soil ecology; site analysis and design; organic pest, weed and disease control; storm water management; invasive plants and more.

Meet Our Instructors

Accreditation and How it Works

Once you have completed the course and passed the exam, you can choose to become accredited by pledging to abide by the NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care in all of your horticultural services. Abiding by these standards helps distinguish you from your peers and gives your customers peace of mind in knowing that you are adhering to the best sustainable management practices.

Accreditation Requirements

To become a Phipps Sustainable Landcare Accredited Professional, you must:

  • Take the four-day Phipps Sustainable Landcare Accreditation course.
  • Pass the accreditation exam.
  • Pledge to provide only sustainable landcare according to the NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care.
  • Refresh your accreditation by attending a minimum of four hours of relevant landscaping education every year.
  • Pay an annual accreditation fee (see below).

Accreditation Tiers

Business Tier | $150 per year

This tier is designed for landscapers, lawn care professionals and business owners who want the full promotional support of Phipps.

  • Phipps provides accredited professionals with free marketing visibility including online, advertising, public relations, social media and targeted events to promote your services.
  • Each accredited partner receives a Sustainable Landcare Accreditation Marketing Toolkit with the resources you need — from an accreditation seal truck magnet, window cling and downloadable file to a press release template and social media ideas — to promote your accreditation and distinguish your services.

Individual Tier | $75 per year

This tier is a reduced rate for people who wish to maintain accreditation status but do not need marketing services, such as educators, municipal officers and non-profit employees. You will be listed on Phipps’ website, but without contact information.

Photos © Paul g. Wiegman