UMass Extension will host a symposium Dec. 1 at the Sturbridge Host Hotel in Sturbridge, Mass., on topics in sustainable landscape design and management.

Current trends increasingly stretch the boundaries of the traditional landscape picture of lawn areas interspersed with tidy ornamental plantings. Designers are challenged to meet sustainability and management reduction goals for residential, commercial and recreational spaces, as well as public and private grounds, while simultaneously creating a functional aesthetic. Following the design and establishment phase, managers are faced with the task of maintaining the appearance of each landscape with fewer inputs and an eye toward natural resource conservation and minimal environmental impact. In meeting these challenges, there is a particular need for proper specification and establishment of plant material to increase the potential for positive project outcomes and long-term success.
 
The symposium will introduce the principles of sustainability and highlight the importance of proper specification and selection of plant materials for lawns, meadows, conservation areas and sites that support grazing, as well as the impact of input reduction for management of these areas. Specific topics covered will include evaluation and use of composts; turfgrass selection and establishment; turfgrass alternatives; meadows and high-mown areas; pastures and conservation areas; and management of invasive and undesirable plants.
 
Landscape designers, architects, managers, technicians, business owners, public and private grounds personnel and all others interested in sustainable landscape design and maintenance are encouraged to attend. Preregistration is required due to limited seating. Pesticide and professional certification credits will be offered.

For complete information about this program and online or mail registration, visit http://extension.umass.edu/turf/events/suscon_2011.