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Synopsis:  Seattle University was one of the first universities to maintain the campus gardens without resorting to the use of chemical pesticides and was awarded a top national EPA award for sustainable practices.


Attendees will learn:

  • ​The balance of nature where beneficial insects & birds assist in keeping harmful insects at manageable levels
  • Mechanical ways to rid of weeds
  • How to care and grown the right plants
  • ​How to avoid plants that are known to have problems
  • How to make life good for beneficial insects, diverse plantings and beneficial insect releases
  • Design techniques for weed control
  • ​How to mow woody weeds, sheet mulch, a special technique using vinegar and boiling water​

Synopsis:  I often ask my peers why they don’t manage their landscapes organically and they typically respond that they “don’t have administrative support,” and/or they “don’t have enough gardeners nor the budget to support labor intensive or-ganic gardening practices.” Tyson Kemper


This presentation will address these common challenges informed from our experiences over 8 years of organically managing a 125+ acre campus landscape, which includes a 60 acre restored floodplain wetland, mature douglas fir and western red cedar forest, meadows, lawns, hardscapes, display gardens, native gardens, greenhouse, and a campus population of over 6000.

Renel Anderson
President & CEO, Bichar Supreme
Renel Anderson is a biochar enthusiast very much involved with research and development of “Green” Biochar Industry. Renel is the founder and president of Biochar Supreme, LLC, manufacturer of OMRI-Listed Black Owl Biochar products. Her knowledge about the various production methods, biochar characteristics, application methods and uses is comprehensive.

Synopsis:  Renel Anderson is a biochar enthusiast very much involved with research and development of “Green” Biochar Industry. Renel is the founder and president of Biochar Supreme, LLC, manufac-turer of OMRI-Listed Black Owl Biochar products. Her knowledge about the various production methods, biochar characteristics, application methods and uses is comprehensive.


Renel will share how biochar can improve landscapes, and add to the toolbox for maintenance, disease-prevention and while avoiding synthetic herbicides and pesticides. She will also discuss biochar’s ability to prevent run-off and leaching of nutrients and its ability to sorb toxins in soils and water.

Topic 3: Discussion on Biochar - Superior soil amendment, Carbon sequestration - Can we make it on our campus?

Topic 2: Beyond Chemicals: Shifting the aesthetic paradigm, creating landscapes that serve a multitude of functions, and how doing nothing is often preferable to doing something

Tyson Kemper
Gardener Lead, Univesrity of Washington Bothell

​Tyson Kemper practices restorative and sustainable landscape gardening at the shared campus of University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia Community College. He came of age in the garden, working for his father’s small landscape business, and later went on to earn a degree in Botany from the University of Washington and a Masters degree in Forest Resources from the University of Idaho. This collective education provided Tyson opportunities to wander, observe, and learn from the wild spaces of the Pacific Northwest while working as an environmental consultant and later as a rare plant botanist for the Washington Natural Heritage Pro-gram. Tyson has since come full circle and found his place beside the buttercups in the garden again.

Ciscoe Morris
TV/Radio Show Host & Former Seattle University Landscape and Grounds Manager
Ciscoe Morris is one of the most recognized gardening experts in the area. His trademark exclamation of “oh-la-la” is known to home gardeners and professionals alike. So where did that accent come from? Wisconsin. Ciscoe Morris grew up in Wauwatosa, WI before a visit to the Northwest sparked his love for the area. He’s made Seattle his home since the early 70s. Once here, he turned his gardening passion into a profession. He earned an AA from South Seattle Community College’s Landscape Horticulture program and then earned a master’s degree from Seattle University. At that campus, Ciscoe dug in, quite literally, becoming the University’s Landscape and Grounds Manager for 24 years. http://www.king5.com/on-tv/bios/104742609.html

Topic 1: How to sustain a campus landscape without pesticides and herbicides: Tips, Tricks, Slips and Falls - Sharing Best Practices

Presenters and Topics:

Grounds Workshop

March 19, 2013

Hosted at: Seattle University

Sponsored by MC Electric Vehicles and Biochar Supreme, LLC


The Workshop enabled over 70 grounds professionals to learn about:

  • Methods to sustain a campus landscape without pesticides and herbicides
  • Moving beyond chemicals by shifting the aestic paradigm, creating landscapes that serve a multitude of functions
  • Superior soil amendment and carbon sequestration and could it happen on your campus?

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