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  • Author or Editor: Madeline Flahive DiNardo x
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In a 1998-99 survey of the landscape service industry in northern New Jersey, professionals predicted an average growth rate of 41% for the years 1998–2003. How close did their prediction come to the growth rate experienced by the industry? In 1999, top issues facing the industry were labor, political recognition, access to capital and regulations. How did events during the early years of the new millennium effect the industry? Landscape professionals (159) participating in a 2005 study of the industry reported an average business growth rate of 38% from 1998–2003. The terrorist attacks of 11 Sept. 2001 had consequences for 45% of the businesses; 49 experienced an average decrease in sales of 17%. Drought conditions in 2002 with state mandated water use restrictions effected 100 of the participants' businesses; 51% of whom lost an average of 21% in sales. The drought was followed by a rainy spring season in 2003. The rains hindered 57 of the businesses, 22 reporting a 3% average decrease in sales. There were events that had positive impacts on 48% of the businesses. Low interest rates, building construction and renovation and expansion of services were cited as opportunities for growth. The participants ranked environmental regulations, pesticide regulations, the availability of labor, labor regulations and vehicles/equipment as the top issues/challenges facing the industry in 2005. The landscape professionals predict an average business growth rate of 26% for 2005–2010.

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New Jersey has two active quarantines currently under the jurisdiction of the USDA's Cooperative Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) Eradication Project. Encompassing just over twenty (20.2) square miles, these quarantines are located in the northeastern and central coastal regions of the state, in close proximity to the ports of New York, Newark, and Elizabeth. Public education and media outreach have been instrumental in confirming the presence of ALB in New Jersey, as both quarantines are the result of citizens' reports. Twenty five personnel have been directly assigned to this eradication effort, with outside contractors taking up the remaining effort. Nearly 33,000 trees have been inspected, resulting in 11,000 (33%) removals of infested or high-risk host species trees. Major losses have occurred in populations of Norway and red maple, London planetree, and American elm, species which have received widespread praise (and unfortunate over-planting) for their tolerance of urban planting sites. Regulatory Contracts (597) and Compliance Agreements (137) were necessary to formalize the quarantine and to create strong working partnerships between the USDA, municipalities, and industry to gain access to all trees and to control the movement of all “green material” in the quarantine areas. Municipalities currently cooperating in the New Jersey Community Forestry Program have begun offsetting this major deforestation and canopy cover loss with the planting of 2,545 nonhost trees, with full reforestation expected over the next several years. In addition, >22,000 trees have been treated with Imidacloprid as a possible deterrent to any activity or spread of ALB in the Garden State.

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Today's fast paced and technology-enriched lifestyles require that many traditional educational seminars and workshops be transformed into “sound bites” of “edu-tainment” if Extension is to keep pace with clientele needs for specific and timely information that's useful and straight to the point. To remain a viable source of timely research-based information, Extension can stay ahead of this curve by utilizing today's technology to inform and educate the public on current issues or outbreaks. This presentation will highlight two such cases where technology delivery systems were utilized to maximize audience size and create an informed public in as short amount of time as possible. Public Service Announcements (PSA's) televised over New Jersey's Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), New Jersey Network (NJN), addressed water conservation and landscape issues during the recent northeastern drought. The potential viewing audience is over eight million people, including all of New Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, and Connecticut. The second case study will highlight a fully interactive CD-ROM on the Asian Long Horned Beetle (ALB) that was created within 12 months of the pest's discovery in Jersey City, N.J. This CD-ROM, containing curricula, PowerPoint presentations and evaluative tools, is currently being used throughout the northeast and in Canada for the most recent infestation of ALB. Filming for both Rapid Response efforts was done with a Sony DSR-500 DV Cam Camcorder and a Canon XL-1 Camcorder. Digital editing was completed on an Apple G4 running OS X with Avid Express Meridian Non-Linear Editing Software version 4.5 with 3D effects, Apple Final Cut Pro 3.0, Adobe After Effects 5.5, and PhotoShop 7.0. Stills were taken with a Sony Mavica and Nikon CoolPix digital cameras.

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Annie’s Project: Farming in New Jersey’s Cities and the Urban Fringe focused on the following five areas of risk identified by the US Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service: financial, production, marketing/price, legal/institutional, and human/personnel. Additional education regarding urban farming topics included securing suitable land, dealing with contaminated soils and alternative growing medias, and securing water for crop production. We delivered a series of six 3-hour evening classes to 23 producers. We administered a retrospective evaluation at the conclusion of the series and distributed an evaluation survey 6 months after training. Both evaluations found that participants increased their understanding of farm risks. Furthermore, they indicated they were better able to manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on their farm business activities.

Open Access