NEWS

  • March 23, 2020 3:41 PM | Anonymous

    Dear GIA members, 

    We know many of you are fielding calls, emails and texts with questions about the impact of today’s Order from Governor Baker.  We also know there are a lot of “experts” out there who have their own opinion on the various policies, exemptions and designations that have been made at the federal and state levels.  We have read and analyzed the latest information directly from the language of the Order itself and from the federal (DHS) guidelines.  Below please find our interpretation. 

    • As Bob Mann noted, on March 19th, the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued guidance to assist states that identifies 14 critical infrastructure sectors whose workers provide services and functions that are essential to support a strong response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This is the underlying document in terms of determining whether or not your service is essential.  https://www.cisa.gov/identifying-critical-infrastructure-during-covid-19
    • Governor Baker’s Emergency order requires all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public as of Tuesday, March 24th at noon until Tuesday, April 7th at noon. These businesses are encouraged to continue operations remotely.  Businesses that are designated as essential are urged to follow social distancing protocols for workers in accordance with guidance from the Department of Public Health.
    • Businesses and organizations not on the list of essential services are encouraged to continue operations through remote means that do not require workers, customers, or the public to enter or appear at the brick-and-mortar premises closed by the order.
    • Based on these parameters, most GIA businesses either meet the federal list or can continue to operate if doing so “through remote means that do not require workers, customers, or the public to enter or appear at the brick-and-mortar premises closed by the order”.

    In addition, the Order also includes a new limitation on gatherings of more than 10 people, covering any activity that brings together more than 10 people in any confined indoor or outdoor space.  The Order does not prohibit gatherings, athletic and recreational activities in unenclosed, outdoor spaces as long as participants are not brought into close, physical contact.  This means, in our opinion, that golf courses can continue to operate if adhering to this new limitation.

    We are awaiting additional feedback from DAR but wanted to get this out – I know some trades are asking members to respond to the EOHED site to request this designation but we don’t want dozens or hundreds of similar companies all reaching out on their own.  We need to read between the lines here and just because it may not specifically spell out landscaping services, we see enough wiggle room under the Public Works category.

    Stephen A. Boksanski, Principal

    BCB Government Relations, Inc.

    44 School Street, Suite 710

    Boston, MA 02108

    617-423-6600 | 617-835-6394 (m)


  • March 23, 2020 2:02 PM | Anonymous
  • March 23, 2020 1:58 PM | Anonymous
  • March 22, 2020 3:22 PM | Anonymous


  • March 20, 2020 3:58 PM | Anonymous


  • March 20, 2020 3:53 PM | Anonymous

    The Key to Controlling Spotted Wing Drosophila

    “Our No. 1 pest in brambles is spotted wing drosophila,” says Kelly Hamby, an entomologist with the University of Maryland. “Early detection is key to effective control.”


    How you clear leaf litter can increase blacklegged tick numbers

    Researchers found that when homeowners rake or blow leaves into the interface between yard edges and lawn during the fall, they actual increase blacklegged tick habitat and can see a three-fold increase in tick numbers in these areas in the spring. Study authors recommend homeowners take advantage of curbside leaf pick up if available, compost their leaves, or remove leaves into a location further into wooded areas or away from high-use areas of their property.

     

    Pesticide seed coatings widespread, underreported

    Pesticide-coated seeds — such as neonicotinoids, many of which are highly toxic to both pest and beneficial insects — are increasingly used in the major field crops, but are underreported, in part, because farmers often do not know what pesticides are on their seeds, according to an international team of researchers. The lack of data may complicate efforts to evaluate the value of different pest management strategies, while also protecting human health and the environment. Research here.

     

    IPM for Schools during COVID-19

    The worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 brings the important work of school custodians into sharper focus and reminds us of the critical role they play in disease prevention. Disinfectants and cleaning chemicals are important components of your antivirus arsenal, but you'll want to make sure all staff are properly trained to follow label instructions, school policies, and state requirements to ensure their safe and effective use. If you haven't already done it, now is the time to review and update your cleaning/disinfection protocols. Provide good training for custodial staff. Work with your administration and school nurse to provide guidance to classroom teachers, other staff and families.

     

    11 Charts that explain the coronavirus pandemic

    The situation on the ground is evolving incredibly quickly, and it’s impossible to synthesize everything we know into clean, intelligible charts. But we do know a fair bit about how bad the outbreak is, what the disease does, and what controlling and ultimately ending the outbreak will look like.

     

    Essential Businesses for a Safe Food Supply – resources in Pennsylvania and Maine.

    Essential services and sectors include but are not limited to food processing, agriculture, industrial manufacturing, feed mills, construction, trash collection, grocery and household goods (including convenience stores), home repair/hardware and auto repair, pharmacy and other medical facilities, biomedical and healthcare, post offices and shipping outlets, insurance, banks, gas stations, laundromats, veterinary clinics and pet stores, warehousing, storage, and distribution, public transportation, and hotel and commercial lodging.

     


  • March 20, 2020 3:45 PM | Anonymous

    Dear UMass Extension Friends and Stakeholders,

    As you are probably aware, operations at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have been significantly reduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to student activities, this also applies to research and the facilities managed by UMass Extension and the Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment. Current information on the UMass closure can be found at https://www.umass.edu/coronavirus/. Current information from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is available at https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

    Current Massachusetts and University policy have the effect of temporarily suspending most of the on-campus services that we provide, including but not limited to:

    • ·          Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Lab
    • ·          Plant Disease Diagnostics Lab
    • ·          Hot Water Seed Treatment
    • ·          Weed, Insect, Turfgrass, and Invasive Plant Identification
    • ·          Public access to all farm properties

    These services will be suspended until at least April 6, 2020. Until further notice, please do not send or deliver samples to the campus, as we cannot process them.

    In addition, all in-person UMass Extension events scheduled through April 6 have been canceled or postponed, including the MassAggie workshops. All professional staff are working remotely and are unable to travel for work at this time. We are doing our best to maintain and expand our remote educational services.

    We will evaluate and revise our plans as circumstances evolve, and additional cancellations of events scheduled after April 6 are possible. We are also working to identify ways to offer as many services and educational opportunities as possible under these circumstances, and hope to announce new offerings as they are developed. We deeply value all those who partner with us and rely upon us, and will endeavor to continue to support you and achieve our mission to the best of our ability under these challenging circumstances.

    At this time, the TickReport Risk Assessment and Passive Surveillance Program, not part of UMass Extension, remains open. Tick samples can continue to be submitted via https://www.tickreport.com/ at this time. Please contact TickReport with further questions and updates on the status of their service. 

    If you have home gardening questions, you may continue to send them to greeninfo@umext.umass.edu .

    We realize this is a challenging time for everyone and we thank you for your patience and understanding. Please continue to check UMass Extension’s Landscape, Nursery & Urban Forestry Program (https://ag.umass.edu/landscape) or the Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (https://ag.umass.edu/) for more updates and additional contact information for UMass Extension’s other services.

    Ellen Weeks
    UMass Extension
    French Hall
    230 Stockbridge Rd
    Amherst, MA 01003
    tel 413-545-0895
    fax 413-577-1620
    UMassGreenInfo.org

     


  • March 20, 2020 3:42 PM | Anonymous

    We received this informative message from the National Association of Landscape Professionals concerning the current crisis.  Please click to read the full article.

    https://www.landscapeprofessionals.org/Coronavirus/

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