New Free Public Education Series on Sustainable Landscaping

Library Street Front GardenThe MGNV Public Education Committee is proud to announce our new 5-part public education series on Sustainable Landscaping beginning February 11. Sign up for as many as you want; all workshops are FREE and held at:

Fairlington Community Center,
Room FC100
3308 S. Stafford Street, Arlington, VA (off Quaker Lane south of I-395).

Download the brochure!

DIY Sustainable Yard
Saturday, February 11, 2017 9:00am–noon.

Sustainable Landscape DesignWant to know the best practices for creating an environmentally sustainable yard or common area? We will focus on site planning and preparation to help conserve energy and water, and how to best use the plants and materials you already have in place. Through case studies and a site design exercise, you will leave with ideas for what you, as a homeowner, property manager, or someone interested in promoting sustainable land practices, could be doing now.

Soil Health and Water Conservation
Saturday, March 11, 2017 9:00am–noon. 

Fertile SoilGet to the root of the matter and learn to protect and build soil health. This workshop will delve into the structure of soils, the geology of our area, how to create great compost, and how to prevent soil erosion and compaction. Learn too about water conservation techniques such as rain gardens, dry beds or bioswales, rain barrels, and plants for wet areas.

Edible Landscaping
Saturday, March 18, 2017 10:00am–noon

Carolyn's bed of edibles

Photo © Dorothy Acosta

Can’t decide whether to grow ornamentals or edible plants in your garden? Limited time and/or space constraints? Want to put more “fun” in your gardening fundamentals? Then come learn the art of edible landscaping that mixes ornamentals, herbs, greens and vegetables. Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners will discuss easy and straightforward techniques that you can use to turn your yard into a sustainable and delicious oasis.

Plant Selection, Design & Planting
Saturday, April 1, 2017 9:00am–noon

Textures Colors Shapes: This large raised berm uses a variety of textures, colors, and shapes massed for esthetic effect. Native and non-native species mingle and many attract pollinators and birds.

Textures Colors Shapes:
This large raised berm uses a variety of textures, colors, and shapes massed for esthetic effect. Native and non-native species mingle and many attract pollinators and birds.

Confused about what to plant, and what plants work best in this area?  In this workshop, learn how to select plants that will grow best on your site. We will present ideas for native plant alternatives to commonly used non-native plants, how to plant wisely to help your plants succeed, companion planting, and identifying and removing invasive plants. You’ll take away information that can help you smartly navigate the wide choice of plants available.

Maintaining the Sustainable Yard
May 6, 2017 9:00am–noon. 

Periodical cicada on the grass by Neal Ziring at images-pictures/insects-and-bugs-public-domain-images-pictures/cicada-on-the-grass.jpg.html

Periodical cicada on the grass
by Neal Ziring

Topics will include plant health and disease identification and troubleshooting, good bugs versus bad bugs in integrated pest management, how and when to prune woody plants, and overall seasonal maintenance tasks. In addition, we will explore wildlife issues and techniques to help your sustainable yard meet local ordinance codes. Leave with more ideas for what you could be doing now.

All workshops are free of charge and open to the public. You can sign up for the whole series, or individual sessions.  Advance registration requested at Questions, telephone 703-228-6414 or email

The Sustainable Landscaping Winter–Spring 2017 series is offered by Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, serving Arlington and Alexandria, dedicated to working with the community to encourage and promote environmentally sound horticulture practices through sustainable landscape management. This series draws on Landscape for Life™, based on the principles of The Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES), federal and state conservation landscaping resources, and research from Virginia’s land-grant universities.

Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

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