Sustainable Landcare Accreditation

2024 Training Open for Registration

Tue. and Thurs., Feb. 1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, 29; 6 – 9 p.m. (online)
Sat., Feb. 3; 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (in person, Phipps Native Plant Conference in Special Events Hall)
Presented as a live webinar through Zoom with one day in-person training


Rate for Professional Landcare Providers: 
$350 on or before Jan 19, 2024 ($400 after)
(additional attendees from the same business receive a 50% discount) 

Reduced Rate for Environmental Nonprofits and Government and School Grounds Staff: 
$262.50 on or before Jan 19, 2024 ($312.50 after)

Scholarship Opportunities:
Partial scholarships are available for nonprofit, government and school staff as well as qualifying individuals. Complete our application online by Jan. 19, 2024. Email Juliette Olshock at jolshock@phipps.conservatory.org with any questions. 

Professional CEUs Pending:

  • 30+ CEUs for landscape architects by LA CES
  • Up to 19.33 CEUs for certified arborists with ISA
  • 16.5 CEUs for Pennsylvania Certified Horticulturists
  • 21.25 CEUs for Sustainable Landscape Certified with PLNA
  • CEUs Pending for Pesticide Recertification

For questions or concerns, please email Juliette Olshock at jolshock@phipps.conservatory.org.

Register Here


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

Coordinated by Phipps Sustainable Landcare Staff, this program offers an in-depth look at landscaping sustainably.  

Local landcare experts and regional professionals serve as instructors in this online course. Experienced green industry practitioners pair up with knowledgeable professionals from environmental organizations, such as Tree Pittsburgh, UpStream, Penn State Extension, Allegheny Land Trust and the Rodale Institute 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 content such as soil ecology; site analysis and design; organic pest, weed and disease control; rainwater management; invasive plants and more.

While most of the learning will take place online, there is one full day of in-person experiences including class sessions, a panel discussion and a reception to allow participants an opportunity to meet with other landcare professionals as well as the class instructors.

Meet Our Instructors

Course Overview

Course Schedule

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. 

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 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 (NOT included in the cost of the training)

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 — an accreditation seal truck magnet, window cling and downloadable file — to promote your accreditation and distinguish your services.

Advocate Tier | $75 per year (NOT included in the cost of the training)

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