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UMass Extension's Green School

2020 Location


2020 Dates

October 26 to December 10, 2020

Program Background

Green School poplar logo

UMass Extension’s Green School is a comprehensive course for horticultural professionals who wish to gain an understanding of economically feasible and environmentally responsible plant and land care practices and the relation of those practices to the protection of the environment.

This course is designed for practitioners such as landscapers, lawn care specialists, nursery operators, sports field managers, public and private grounds managers, arborists and others in the green industry. Both experienced professionals as well as those entering the green industries benefit from this course.

Green School students learn about sensible and sustainable methods of plant and land care as well as responsible nutrient and pest management. They learn scientifically sound information that enables them to make better purchasing and management decisions, and to be better stewards of the environment.

The curriculum, which emphasizes a systems-based approach to plant care, is based on current research and focuses on environmental stewardship, Best Management Practices (BMPs) and integrated pest management (IPM). Students develop an understanding of how proper management practices can enhance conservation of precious natural resources such as soil and water.

Green School is taught by University of Massachusetts Amherst Extension Specialists and UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture faculty. Instruction is done via classroom style lecture and interactive activities, and is supplemented through online resources via an online learning management system.

Green School has been successfully offered to the industry as a certificate short course since the early 1990’s, and more recently for UMass Amherst Stockbridge School of Agriculture academic credit.


The 2020 cost is TBD. The cost includes includes daily morning coffee and all electronic course materials. Deadline for receipt of applications is October 22, 2020.

Educational Tracks

Green School students must choose a "specialty track" when registering. Three tracks are offered. Click the corresponding track name for complete information:


Registration details for the 2020 Green School session will be forthcoming.  To receive notification when registration opens, join our e-mail list.

Course Requirements

Computer Access: In an effort to reduce paper use, Green School will has a larger electronic component than in the past, so regular, reliable access to a computer is a must! Delivery of outlines, supplemental materials, and quizzes will all be online.

You will need a computer/laptop/mobile device with Internet access, and audio capability. Devices are not needed during classes, but must have at least 5 hours of battery capacity if using in class, as there are a limited number of outlets for recharging and available power sources cannot be guaranteed. WiFi is available on-site.

Students will need to supply their social security number in order to be issued a UMass NetID. You must mail a completed NENS form, which is attached to the regstration form. This NetID is required to gain access to all Green School materials, to take the quizzes, and to view some web based lectures.

You will need the ability to print. It’s strongly advised that you bring a copy of the outline to each class; hard copies of all materials are provided electronically and copies are the responsibility of the student.

Key Information

  • Daily Schedule: With the exception of the first day which starts at 8:45 am for everyone, lectures run daily 9:00 am to 3:15 pm, with a 1 hour break for lunch.
  • Pesticide & Professional Contact Hours: 12 contact hours for Massachusetts categories 29, 36, 37; 6 contact hours for Massachusetts Licensed Applicator Training. Pesticide credits awarded will be valid for all New England states. Credits available for MCH, MCLP, MCA, ISA, SAF, CFE and AOLCP certifications.
  • Certificate: Awarded upon achieving a 70% average score. There will be a quiz on each lecture, plus 1 take home test. An average of all quiz grades and the take home test will comprise the final grade. It is not necessary to take the daily quizzes to attend Green School if receiving the certificate is not desired.
  • Quizzes and Grading: Except for the one take home test, all quizzes will be done online. Quizzes will be open-book, with a maximum of 60 minutes allowed for completion once begun. Each quiz will be available for students to complete between 5:00 pm of the day the class is offered and 5:00 am on the day of the next class. All scores are confidential and available only to the registered student.
  • Certification Exam Preparation: Green School is also helpful for people preparing to take the following professional certification exams - Massachusetts Certified Arborist (MCA) offered by the Massachusetts Arborist Association (MAA), Massachusetts Certified Horticulturist (MCH) offered by the Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA), and the Massachusetts Certified Landscape Professional (MCLP) offered by the Massachusetts Association of Landscape Professionals (MLP).
  • UMass Academic Credits: UMass academic credit is pending (3 credits requested) and will be available for an additional fee of $100/credit plus a $45 processing fee. This is in addition to the Green School registration fee. Contact Ellen Weeks at or 413-545-0895 for more information on this option.
  • EMPLOYERS! For eligible employers, the Green School registration fee may be partially reimbursed through the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Express Grant Program. Employers should submit an online application to the Express Grant Program at least 6 weeks in advance of UMass Green School’s starting date. To find out if you qualify and to apply for benefits, go to; to find Green School in the list of Training Courses, go to
  • Weather Cancellation: To find out if a class has been canceled, call after 6:00 AM on the morning of class. Call either 413-545-0895 or 508-892-0382.


Send an e-mail to You may also call the UMass Extension Landscape, Nursery & Urban Forestry Program at (413) 545-0895 or the UMass Extension Turf Program at (508) 892-0382.