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Midday Panel Discussion

1:15 - 2:00 pm

Organic Land Care: NH’s Movement Towards More Sustainable Lawns and Common Areas


While many farms have worked towards reducing or eliminating their pesticide use, New Hampshire’s lawns, playing fields, and common areas are still areas of heavy pesticide, fertilizer, and water use.  Groups like Non Toxic Dover and Non Toxic Portsmouth have been created to work with their municipalities in achieving a common goal of sustainable green areas.  Support continues to grow for non-toxic public land practices. Meet some of the people involved in this critical change to how we care for all of our land!



Stacy Luke is the District Manager of the Merrimack County Conservation District. In her 20 years of working for conservation districts and non-profit organizations, she has written or assisted with a variety of grant applications for agricultural, educational, and scientific programs.


Peter Rice, Director of Public Works, City of Portsmouth, NH. Peter has been working with the group Non Toxic Portsmouth to create a more pesticide free city using organic land techniques.  Peter will speak to the challenges and successes in implementing organic land care in his city. 


Chuck Baxter, Tree Supervisor and Arborist, City of Portsmouth, NH.

Catherine Sofikitis is a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, representing Hillsborough 34. Sofikitis assumed office in 2016. Sofikitis' current term ends on December 4, 2020. She has previously served on the Environment and Agriculture Committee and is currently sponsoring HB646, a bill relative to labeling, signage, and restrictions on the sales and use of bee-toxic pesticides.


Denise Rico has owned and operated Terra Design Landscapes, a design and installation firm, since the year 2000. She provides residential and commercial landscape services and environmental restoration. Denise Rico, B.S., is a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional. She holds degrees in Horticulture and Landscape Design and has over thirty years of experience in the field. Denise has owned and operated Terra Organics, a certified organic farm that grows fruits and vegetables, since 2009. She is also the NOFA-NH Bulk Order Coordinator.


John B. Storer, P.E. joined the City of Dover in August 2017 as their Director of Community Services. He previously held a similar position in the City of Rochester and before that served as the Superintendent of the Auburn (Maine) Water & Sewerage Districts. In his position with the City of Dover, he oversees all aspects of public works, including the maintenance of City parks, ballfields, and trails.  He obtained registration as a Professional Engineer in both Maine and New Hampshire. He has over 25 years of experience in the design and operation of municipal water and sewer systems. He began his professional career as a Design Engineer for a large, New England based environmental engineering firm.

Storer is a past board member of the New England Water Works Association and in his relatively short time in New Hampshire he has participated on the NPDES Study Commission and Seacoast Drinking Water Commission; he also serves on the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership Management Committee; and is active in his local Dover Rotary Club.

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