Training & Workshops

The goal of every NEMO workshop is to give local decision makers some tangible action items toward protecting their municipality’s resources. These actions span a wide range, from revisions to overall town policies to very specific changes to regulations or development practices.

Traveling to Town Hall

NEMO goes to its target audience. NEMO staff work with community contacts to ensure that the format and audience of the workshop help to maximize the chances for positive follow up. The ideal audience is a group that has representation from all of the local land use boards, as well as municipal departments (planning, engineering, public works) and any interested organizations (land trusts, chamber of commerce).

Get the troops out!

Get as many land use commissions, departments and other "players" as possible together to hear the NEMO presentaton at the same time. Have your chief elected official provide the motivation.

The workshops are free of charge, and most take about 1 hour, however additional time for discussion is strongly recommended. Depending on the presentation given, we also provide educational publications, maps, web-based information and individual consultation. If you don't see a workshop specific to your needs, contact us, we are happy to consider adding new topics!

Schedule a Workshop
Residential Rain Garden Training

A practical 1.5 day short course for landscapers, designers, maintenance care providers and volunteers. 

Rain gardens are vegetated areas designed and built to accept stormwater runoff from surfaces including rooftops, roads and compacted soils. Rain gardens are increasingly being used by homeowners and municipalities to reduce the impact of stormwater on local waterways and the Long Island Sound.

Participants of past rain garden trainings install plants during the field installation.

Training schedule and links to additional information can be found on NEMO's Rain Gardens Home page. Contact CT NEMO at nemo@uconn.edu or call (860) 345-4511 for more information.

Linking Land Use to Water Quality

The Linking Land Use to Water Quality workshop addresses the relationship of land use to natural resource protection with an emphasis on water quality. It explains the concepts of nonpoint source pollution and watersheds as well as reviewing the impacts of land use on water resources. Natural resource-based planning is introduced as a framework for dealing with land use issues.

The workshop is free of charge and about 1 hour long. We recommend scheduling 2 hours to allow for discussion and questions. Contact CT NEMO at nemo@uconn.edu or call (860) 345-4511 to schedule a workshop.

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Planning for Stormwater

Impervious surfaces like asphalt, concrete and rooftops generate polluted runoff and are a major indicator of the impacts of development on water resources. This workshop reviews planning and site design options to reduce both the amount and the impact of impervious surfaces. It also includes information on road and parking lot designs and alternative materials that promote infiltration. This workshop is supported by the Planning for Stormwater website in the Tools & Resources section.

The workshop is free of charge and about 1 hour long. We recommend scheduling 2 hours to allow for discussion and questions. Contact CT NEMO at nemo@uconn.edu or call (860) 345-4511 to schedule a workshop.

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Managing Stormwater in Urban Areas

This presentation focuses on “restorative redevelopment” strategies and opportunities for managing stormwater in urban areas. Planning and design considerations for stormwater-friendly roads, parking lots, roofs and other stormwater-generating surfaces are reviewed. This workshop touches on all the same areas as the Planning for Stormwater workshop, but with examples drawn from urban, rather than rural or suburban, landscapes.

The workshop is free of charge and about 1 hour long. We recommend scheduling 2 hours to allow for discussion and questions. Contact CT NEMO at nemo@uconn.edu or call (860) 345-4511 to schedule a workshop.

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Conducting a Community Resource Inventory (CRI)

In order to protect your town's resources and character, you first have to know what those resources are and what makes up the "character" of your town! A complete Community Resource Inventory (CRI) is made up of three different resource inventories: natural, cultural and economic. This workshop describes the importance of each, where you can get resources and information, and what to do with the inventory once it is completed. This workshop is supported the CRI Online website in the Tools & Resources section.

You will learn a 6-step process to create this basic and critical component of resource-based planning:
  • Assemble work group
  • Determine study area
  • Review existing documents
  • Assemble maps and information
  • Write a Draft Report
  • Publicize and solicit information

The workshop ends with illustrations of how to use your CRI taken from other Connecticut towns. Since so much digital mapping information is available statewide, a good portion of the workshop will be spent on step 4, assembling maps and information. This will give your community a good sense of how to get started on your own CRI.

The workshop is free of charge and about 1 hour long. We recommend scheduling 2 hours to allow for discussion and questions. Contact CT NEMO at nemo@uconn.edu or call (860) 345-4511 to schedule a workshop.

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Open Space Planning

Even when land trusts and towns are actively seeking to protect open space, there is usually no concrete plan as to where, how or even why open space should be acquired. This presentation includes methods and options on how to inventory, prioritize and acquire open space.

Learn About:
  • Identifing open space
  • Characterizing open space
  • Prioritizing open space
  • Acquiring open space
  • Funding open space

“. . . we must realize if we take the necessary steps to first protect our unique natural resources, quality development, sensitive to those resources will follow and as a result our regions’ special character and your quality of life will be enriched.”
– Jim Gibbons, Extension Educator/Land Use Planner

The workshop is free of charge and about 1 hour long. We recommend scheduling 2 hours to allow for discussion and questions. Contact CT NEMO at nemo@uconn.edu or call (860) 345-4511 to schedule a workshop.

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Natural Resource-based Planning for Watersheds

The NEMO Team has found there are two major stumbling blocks to local watershed efforts, an inability to get started and an overload of maps/information. This workshop and its companion publication Natural Resource-Based Planning for Watersheds—A practical Starter Kit For Watershed Projects (cover below) will outline a process that will help you get started!

Watershed Booklet
Cover of the Watersheds Starter Kit booklet.
You will learn about our recommended 6-step process to watershed planning:
  1. Assemble a core group of local leaders & resource experts.
  2. Determine the land in the watershed still available to be developed.
  3. Determine priority water, land and cultural resource areas.
  4. Formulate an Action plan, based on the comparison of priority resource areas to developable lands.
  5. Educate the populous, especially key private and public land use decision makers, on the key findings and recommendations of the Action Plan.
  6. Realize the Action Plan through well-crafted recommendations and continuing education.

This process is illustrated with examples from our work in the Eight Mile River Watershed Project.

The workshop is free of charge and about 1 hour long. We recommend scheduling 2 hours to allow for discussion and questions. Contact CT NEMO at nemo@uconn.edu or call (860) 345-4511 to schedule a workshop.

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Coastal Habitats

Is your community in the coastal area of Connecticut? If so, this workshop is your point of entry into an integrated educational program to help your town better protect priority coastal habitat areas.

Learn About:
  • Land use patterns along the coastal of Long Island Sound;
  • Critical coastal habitat areas like submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), migratory fish and tidal marshes—what they are, where they are and what is threatening them;
  • Protection strategies that you can start on now!
  • How the partners can help you.

The workshop is free of charge and about 1 hour long. We recommend scheduling 2 hours to allow for discussion and questions. Contact CT NEMO at nemo@uconn.edu or call (860) 345-4511 to schedule a workshop.

This workshop is also supported by a website. Take a tutorial on conducting a coastal resource inventory; access maps and information on priority coastal resource areas and coastal land cover; or link to a variety of other sites that can help you protect your valuable coastal habitat areas.

Coastal Habitats Website

Focus on the Coast Partners Include:

  • The University of Connecticut Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) Program, in partnership with the Connecticut Sea Grant College Program
  • The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Coastal Marine Program
  • The Office of Long Island Sound Programs (OLISP) of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

Major funding support by NOAA Coastal Services Center.

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Connecticut Stormwater Quality Manual

The Connecticut Stormwater Quality Manual provides guidance on the measures necessary to protect the waters of the State of Connecticut from the adverse impacts of post-construction stormwater runoff. This manual focuses on site planning, source control and stormwater treatment practices and is intended for use as a planning tool and design guidance document by the regulated and regulatory communities involved in stormwater quality management.

Learn About:
    • Planning
    • Design
    • Sample Regulations
    • Sizing
    • Specifications
Download the manual

CT Stormwater Manual

For More Information:

On the manual: Cheryl Chase, CT DEP, (860) 424-3860, cheryl.chase@po.state.ct.us

On the workshops: Contact CT NEMO at nemo@uconn.edu or call (860) 345-4511 to schedule a workshop.

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Connecticut's Changing Landscape (CCL)

Using satellite images, the University of Connecticut Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR) has produced maps and charts documenting land cover change in Connecticut from 1985 to 2002. Highlighted are developed areas as well as areas in agricultural and forest land cover. This research has for the first time provided a basis to compare land cover trends over time. This has proven especially useful in discussions on smart growth and sprawl issues that are often debated on emotion rather that hard research. The workshop reviews the research and describes how it might be used by local land use officials in resource inventories, open space plans, economic development plans and plans of conservation and development.

The workshop is free of charge and about 1.5 hours long. We recommend scheduling 2 hours to allow for discussion and questions. Contact John Rozum at john.rozum@uconn.edu or call (860) 345-5225 to schedule a workshop.

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Wet Lands

The Wet Lands workshop goes over the basic functions and values of wetlands, as well as the regulatory issues surrounding wetland protection and wetland/watercourse buffers. This workshop is a partnership between Cooperative Extension and the Connecticut Sea Grant College Program.

You will learn:
  • How wetlands and watercourses are defined and identified.
  • Functions and values of wetlands and watercourses.
  • Impacts of development and land use on wet lands.
  • Wet lands protection: how it is or can be done.
  • Hot issues: buffers, wetland restoration, creation and mitigation.

PLEASE NOTE: This workshop is intended for land use commissions that do not have a direct regulatory role over inland wetlands and watercourses (i.e. Planning, Zoning and Conservation Commissions). Inland Wetland commission members seeking education should contact CT DEP.

The workshop is free of charge and about 1 hour long. We recommend scheduling 2 hours to allow for discussion and questions. Contact CT NEMO at nemo@uconn.edu or call (860) 345-4511 to schedule a workshop.

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GIS in Your Town

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are revolutionizing how municipal governments and other groups work with natural resource, land use, infrastructure and related data. A GIS uses computer technology to encode, store, analyze and display geographic data. Increasingly, Connecticut municipalities are using GIS to help prepare local plans of development, to manage infrastructure and land records, to evaluate proposed developments, to assess open space options, to plan school bus routes and for many other applications.

The GIS in Your Town workshop is designed to introduce municipal officials and volunteers to basic GIS concepts and terminology. The workshop presents information to help organizations understand some of the planning, management, database and application issues important to successful GIS programs.

Topics Include:

  • GIS basics
  • Hardware and software options
  • Start up and operational costs
  • Where to get GIS data
  • How to get organized
  • Staff and training needs
  • Where to get assistance
  • Pitfalls to avoid
  • Examples of municipal applications

No prior knowledge of GIS is necessary and comments, questions and discussion are encouraged. The material covered in the workshop is particularly valuable to organizations that are considering or just getting started with GIS.

The workshop is free of charge and about 1 hour long. We recommend scheduling 2 hours to allow for discussion and questions. Contact CT NEMO at nemo@uconn.edu or call (860) 345-4511 to schedule a workshop.

Additional Geospatial training can be found at UConn's Center for Land Use Education and Research's Geospatial Training Program.

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Forest Stewardship

ForestryForest resources provide innumerable benefits to a community; watershed protection, wildlife habitat, aesthetic value, recreational value and even have the potential to provide commercial value. The Forest Stewardship workshop, conducted by Cooperative Extension Forestry staff, can help landowners get the information they need to help protect and manage their forested land, now and in the future. Contact the Forestry staff to determine what presentation is best for you.

Workshop presentation options include:
  • Woods and Water - a program for Inland Wetland Commissioners about timber harvesting and wetlands regulations.
  • Gray Ghosts - Hemlocks, their role in the ecosystem, the effect of Hemlock Woolly Agelgid and management issues.
  • Riparian Forest Buffers - their value, function and design.
  • Regeneration Methods - how timber harvesting systems can be designed to successfully regenerate the forest.
  • 350 Years of Use and Abuse - A history of the forest resource in CT, and the impact of that history on the forests and other land use patterns of today.
  • Competition, Continuum and Change - Why the forest grows the way it does.
  • Forest Fragmentation and Parcelization - A commentary on the major forces that threaten the forest resource and the numerous public benefits it provides.
  • Watersheds of a Last Great Place - The role of forested lands in protecting water quality and community character at the landscape scale.
  • Forests and the Connecticut Economy - From Wildlife Viewing to White Oak Veneer, the contribution made by the forest resource to the economy of our state.
  • Forest Stewardship for Private Landowners - What it means, how to get started and where to go for help.
  • Conservation Planning Tools - Options for Landowners.
  • Selling and Marketing Timber - pitfalls and practicalities associated with commercial timber transactions.

For more information on the Forest Stewardship Program, visit the UConn Cooperative Forestry Extension website.

The workshop is free of charge and about 45 minutes long. We recommend scheduling 1.5 hours to allow for discussion and questions. Contact Tom Worthley at thomas.worthley@uconn.edu or call (860) 345-4511 to set up a workshop.

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