Organic Management in Parks & Landscapes


A workshop for all types of landscape professionals, including park managers, municipal groundskeepers, and landscape contractors (design, installation, maintenance).

October 27, 2016  10am – 3pm

Titlow Lodge, 8425 6th Ave., Tacoma, WA
For directions, see this map.

$45 registration fee, reduced for public employees. Fee includes lunch.

Professional CEU's Available - Please check with coordinator by emailing Megan Dunn ( to confirm availability.


Part I: Organic Management in Parks (and other large landscapes)

10:00 – 10:15am     Introduction

Dave Alba, Pacific Northwest Coalition of Organic Land Care Professionals

10:15 – 11:30am     Presentation: Managing UW Bothell/Cascadia College Without Pesticides

Tyson Kemper, Grounds Supervisor, UW Bothell/Cascadia College

Tyson will share his experience managing a 120 acre campus landscape, which includes a 60 acre restored floodplain wetland, mature forest, meadows, lawns, hardscapes, display gardens, and native gardens. Participants will gain greater insight into organic weed and pest management, conservation, restoration, and utilization of existing resources. Tyson will elaborate on how pesticide reduction/elimination strategies incorporate shifting the aesthetic paradigm, cost and labor reduction, creating landscapes that serve a multitude of functions, and framing wild areas within the managed landscape.

Tyson Kemper practices restorative and sustainable landscape gardening at the shared campus of University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia College. He has a degree in Botany from the University of Washington and a Masters degree in Forest Resources from the University of Idaho. This collective education provided Tyson opportunities to wander, observe, and learn from the wild spaces of the Northwest while working as an environmental consultant and later as a rare plant botanist for the Washington Natural Heritage Program.

11:30 – 11:45am                 Break

11:45am – 1:00pm             Panel Discussion: How to Reduce or Eliminate Pesticides in Large Landscapes

Moderator: Megan Dunn, Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides

Interactive question and answer panel with area experts on how to eliminate pesticides in large landscapes. Includes solutions for common pests, including weeds. 

1:00 – 1:45pm                Lunch/Networking

Part II:  Tour: Titlow Park Grounds (Rain or shine)

2pm – 3pm   Site Tour

Tom Balaban, Park Maintenance Lead, Metro Parks Tacoma

Mike Yaden, Titlow Park Maintenance Lead

Outdoor tour will focus on successful sustainable practices and current challenges with pesticide elimination.

Open to public, no-cost. Intended to inform the public about sustainable park practices, with some tips for homeowners. Will also provide opportunities for peer-to-peer problem solving and resource sharing.  

Overall topics include:

  • Weed management without pesticides
  • Using ecological systems to decrease weed pressure
  • Soil health and it’s impact on disease reduction
  • Creating visual maintenance boundaries that define managed and wild spaces
  • Advantages of establishing maintenance zones:
    • Low – restoration techniques, foster ecological diversity to create functional systems that rely on minimal maintenance once established.
    • Med  -  coppicing, native plants, aggressive mulching, mow strips, hedgerow, close plantings
    • High  - soil balancing with compost (tea), heavy mulching with cardboard and arborist chips 
  • Signage: explain to the public why something looks like it does, explain added benefits, including pollinators, wildlife, pollution reduction, increased public health, increase public appreciation of natural aesthetics
  • Capital improvement projects: additional funding (based on added values) to redesign poor functioning landscapes 
Brought to you by:

Pacific Northwest Coalition of Organic Land Care Professionals
Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides
Tacoma’s Make a Splash Program


Will you come?

Please enter number of tickets, not dollars, in the box below.

$45.00 Ticket

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