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2002 News from Mecklenburg County

December 20, 2002

Master Composters Piedmont Landscaping and Naturescaping Training

Charlotte, NC – If the recent ice storm left your yard a mess, you aren't alone.  Make the most out of reshaping your lawn with free classes offered by Mecklenburg County Solid Waste Management.   Residents are invited to participate in Master Composters Piedmont Landscaping and Naturescaping Training or MCPLANT.

The MCPLANT workshops begin in early February 2003 and are available by application only.  Participants can apply online at by clicking on "PLANT program" or by calling 704-336-5359.

The project will train 25 Master Composter volunteers, each receiving 40 hours of training with several field trips and hands-on projects.  Drawing on successful training models from around the country, Solid Waste Management is recruiting volunteers based on their interests, commitment and level of experience.

All trainees will complete a 12-week training course. In return for the training, we are asking for specific volunteer time to help with different projects at schools, in neighborhoods, the Southern Spring Show and others as needed.  The participants will learn about:
Composting - how to turn leaves, yard clippings & kitchen scraps into rich compost that is a cost savings & a valuable soil amendment for plants in the yard and garden.
Home and Community Soil Stewardship - How and why to do a soil test, managing soils to improve fertility, decrease erosion and protect the environment.
Toxicity Reduction - Water quality, chemical alternatives and natural methods, and proper use, storage and disposal of lawn chemicals.
Home yard care - Wise lawn care, types of grasses and how to best manage them, grasscycling, and lawn alternatives including ground covers, natural areas and mulching.
Piedmont naturescaping - Landscaping for sustainability and easy, low-cost maintenance, using traditional and native plants and trees in the landscape, groundcovers and mulch, water-saving strategies and best irrigation practices and technologies (*southern xeriscaping*). Educating to prevent invasive plants from becoming established in our communities.
Conservation and Diversification - Habitat and Natural gardening, natural landscaping techniques that allow for beneficial insects and plants, habitat for wildlife and low maintenance beautification of the landscape.
Habitat and Natural gardening - natural landscaping techniques that allow for beneficial insects and plants, habitat for wildlife and low maintenance beautification of the landscape.

Class schedule: All MCPLANT classes will be held at the Charlotte Nature Museum at 1658 Sterling Road from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. unless noted otherwise. ( * indicates Saturday classes 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.)

DATE                                        SUBJECT
February 6 - Introduction: Icebreaker, team builder, calendar
                      review & Program Expectations
February 8  * Compost Demo
February 13 - Composting Science
February 20 - Soils, Successful MC projects
February 27 - Southern Spring Show
March 6 - Vermiculture
March 13 - Toxicity Reduction, Recycling
March 15  * Observe PLANT program
March 20 - Turf
March 27 - Naturescaping & xeriscaping
April 3 - Habitat Gardening
April 10 - Native Plants at UNCC, Food composting
April 12  * Tour of Compost Central
April 17 - Invasive Exotic Removal at Latta, Invasive slideshow &
                 samples, Start MC Project presentations
April 24 - MC Project presentations
May 1 - MC Project presentations
May 3  * Graduation Picnic - All MC's invited!

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