Virginia is a leader in implementing urban nutrient management strategies in cooperation with private industry to reduce nutrient runoff from lawns, office parks, golf courses and other developed lands. At the request of several retailers, DCR produced a video demonstrating environmentally responsible fertilizer and pesticide use at home. The agency also runs the Water Quality Improvement Agreement Program for urban lawn care retailers, lawn care companies and others who wish to be recognized for offering environmentally responsible products and services. Businesses that have signed such agreements offer their customers information about lawn care or the application of nutrients within established criteria that minimize nutrient loss by controlling application rates and timing. Voluntary participation in the program leads to reduced nutrient loss to Virginia's ground and surface waters, including the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
DCR recently added a Turf and Landscape Nutrient Management Planning category to its nutrient management program. Turf and landscape nutrient management plans are generally applicable to facilities such as golf courses, athletic field complexes, community parks, business parks, common areas in developed communities, etc. Each area of a facility receiving nutrients is evaluated within a nutrient management plan, which includes agronomic and environmentally sound nutrient application recommendations. A plan outlines fertility recommendations that meet plants’ nutrient needs and minimizes the loss of nutrients to the environment. DCR offers training schools and a certification program to professionals who wish to write turf and landscape nutrient management plans.
For more information about the Water Quality Agreement program or the Turf and the Landscape Certification program, contact DCR's urban nutrient management, Derik Cataldi, email@example.com, 804-371-7489.