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The objectives of the project were to design and implement an educational campaign on low-input lawn care, measure its effectiveness, and use the information gained to develop a model education plan that other communities could use. Residents of Edina, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis, initiated the project by expressing an interest in reducing the amounts of chemical inputs (fertilizers and pesticides) used on residential lawns. The program's educational goal focused on teaching Edina's residents about proper timing and rate of application of all lawn inputs, as well as cultural techniques for producing a healthy lawn. The educational campaign consisted of informational articles published in Edina's quarterly community magazine; the establishment of 19 demonstration sites in which volunteer homeowners worked with Master Gardener mentors learning low-input lawn care techniques; a WWW page where information about lawn care and the project itself was posted; and a public seminar conducted by a turf specialist. Two surveys (May 1996 and April 1997) were distributed, each to a random sample of 800 Edina residents. The surveys measured lawn care knowledge and current practices, attitudes concerning pesticide use and the environment, as well as the effectiveness of this educational program. Recommendations for other community educational programs will be presented.

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Using Native Plants is a 120-min videotape that was developed as a result of a Cooperative Extension Partnership Programming Grant between the Univ. of Minnesota, Minnesota Extension Service and the Cooperative Extension–Univ. of Wisconsin-Extension. The content covers woodland wildflowers, prairie establishment and maintenance, landscaping lakeshores, and using native plants in traditional gardens settings.Video segments include: Eloise Butler Wildflower garden, Minneapolis, Minn.; Curtis Prairie, Madison, Wis.; Big Sandy Lake, Minn.; and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassen. Developed originally as advanced Master Gardener training, the program was a national satellite broadcast on 29 Feb. 1996. It was viewed by at least nine states and more than 500 participants. Video production costs, including a 20-page participant's handout with extensive references and plant lists, were just under $13,000. A cost analysis, evaluation, sample of the participant's packet, pictures from the videotape and an order form will be presented. Copies of the tape and print packet may be obtained for $50 from Minnesota Extension Service, 1.800.876.8636, or Univ. of Wisconsin-Extension, at 1.608.262.3346.

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Miscanthus is one of the most popular ornamental grasses. Reports of self-seeding however, have occurred in the Central Atlantic states, making it a possible weed threat. Ascertaining whether Miscanthus self-seeds or not may determine its continued use as an ornamental, decorative plant. With more than 50 named cultivars of Miscanthus sinensis and several other Miscanthus species available in the trade, wide morphological variation appears to exist within this genus. Because Miscanthus is a warm-season grass requiring a relatively long growing season, self-seeding may vary depending on the USDA Hardiness Zone in which the plant is grown. Mature inflorescences from 35 different cultivars or species of Miscanthus were collected or acquired from nurseries or arboreta in USDA Zones 4, 5, 6, and 7 in the fall or early winter of 1996. Inflorescences were examined for seed set by hand cleaning. The percentage of viability seed and seed germination was determined by germination in laboratory conditions. Results varied by cultivar or species and as well as by source. A comparison of results will presented and the implications of Miscanthus self-seeding or becoming a potential weed threat will be discussed.

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