Workshops & Webinars

WCCD gives workshops on demand, on a variety of topics related to Soils and Soil health, Erosion Control, Water Quality, Gardening and Farming, Climate Change Adaptation, Forestry and Wildlife Habitat, and Food preparation, Food Waste, and Composting. Our staff and affiliates can offer workshops or guest lectures upon request. Just email our administrator, Lisa Trotto at  with your interest or a request or for more information.

Images from Past Workshops:

2021 Composting Webinar Series

Home Composting

Monday, May 3, 2021 @ 7PM EST

Speakers: Amy Donovan, Franklin County Solid Waste District; Joel Betts, Worcester County Conservation District

Looking forward to the gardening season? If you buy bags of soil, would you want to make your own compost instead? Learn how to reduce household trash and improve garden soil health by composting food and yard waste. Tune in to this FREE, fun webinar that will provide tips, how-to’s, and local resources to start or improve your own composting system in Central and Western Mass, followed by a question and answer session with local composting experts.

Click here to watch the recorded webinar. 

Link to Home Composting presentation slides: 5-3_21_Final_Compost Webinar Slides GQFA

Worm Composting Webinar

Monday, May 10, 2021 @ 7PM

Speaker: Amy Donovan, Franklin County Solid Waste District

Learn how to compost indoors year-round with Red Wiggler worms!

Amy Donovan of Franklin County Solid Waste District will show how to make a simple, low cost vermicomposting bin, where to get worms, which food wastes are appropriate, and how to harvest and use the finished compost. Learn how to reduce trash from a household, classroom, or office. Amy will share tried and true techniques to get the best results, with no odors. The finished worm castings are a nutrient rich soil additive, some of the best compost on earth!

Click here to watch the recorded webinar.

Food Waste Solutions for Businesses:

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 @ 2:30PM

Speakers: Khrysti Smith Barry, Center for EcoTechnology; Rick Innes, Clearview Composting; Joel Betts, Worcester County Conservation District

Did you know? According to the NRDC, 40% of food produced in the US goes uneaten!

Come learn what you can do at your business to make a difference.

Businesses, restaurants, and event planners all over the country are discovering that recycling and composting can be easier than they thought, and can cost the same – if not LESS – than throwing it all in the trash!  Learn how to potentially save operational costs and impress your customers by minimizing your food waste and lowering your carbon footprint.

This event is ideal for your business, restaurant, community agency, faith-based organization, food processing facility, or residential facility.

Local solid waste experts will share free resources, local success stories, achievable ideas, and tips and tricks for getting started or taking the next steps in your composting and recycling efforts.  We will cover topics relevant to reducing waste from your regular business operations or events – for everything from food service businesses, distributors, and retail operations, to office lunchrooms, catered meetings, and larger events or event venues.

Click here for the recorded webinar.

Link to Food Waste Solutions Presentation Slides: 5.18.21 GQFA Biz Food Waste Solutions FINAL

2021 Envirothon Webinar

Soil Conservation, Best Management Practices to Build Resilience and Protect Water Quality

Speaker: Joel Betts, Worcester County Conservation District

Cover crops, no-till agriculture, rotational grazing, streamside buffers and many other practices capture carbon to build the soil, reduce pollution to our waters, and build resilience to intense weather from climate change. Project Drawdown says Conservation Agriculture could sequester over 9 gigatons of carbon dioxide in the next 30 years!

Click here for recorded webinar. 

Link to Soil Conservation BMP Presentation Slides: Soil Conservation best management practices to build resilience

2021 Spring Seedling Sale Webinar Series

This series was supported by a Neighborhood Outreach Grant from the MA DCR Service Forestry Program through the Working Forests Initiative, awarded to us in partnership with the North County Land Trust. It also supported direct assistance with landowners about conservation and land protection.

North County Land Trust, Inc. (NCLT) is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 regional land conservation organization founded in 1992.
Our Mission is to conserve the farms, forests and landscapes that define the character of our region.

•PROTECT: Identify natural resources, working lands and landscapes whose conservation is of the highest priority.
•PRESERVE: Conserve land in perpetuity for future generations.
•PROMOTE: Engage communities to understand and appreciate their natural environment and the importance of conservation.
Joel Betts teaching about forest soils with Clark University students.

Tree-soil interactions 101, how to make a soil map, and considerations for successful tree planting.

Friday, March 19, 12:00 noon

Speaker: Joel Betts, Worcester County Conservation District

People too often forget about the unseen half of trees underground, yet the inherent and dynamic properties of the soil in which a tree is growing can make the difference between if it succeeds or fails. This webinar will take a deep dive into the intersection of soil science and forest ecology with practical implications for forest management and tree planting. Attendees will learn how to; use free mapping tools to create a soil map for their property and take a soil test to determine what might grow best on that location.

Click here to watch recorded Webinar

Soil and Trees_2021 presentation slides

Funding for this webinar was provided by the MA DCR Service Forestry Program through the Working Forests Initiative.

Cedar Waxwing with a Juneberry

Native Plants and Birds: What’s the Connection?

Friday, March 12, 2021, 12:00 noon

Speaker: Martha Gach of Mass. Audubon. How does growing native plants help birds? We will connect the dots between native plants, gardening practices, insects, and birds, and show you how to create a landscape ‘that’s for the birds’.

Native Plants and Birds Final.3

Funding for this webinar was provided by the MA DCR Service Forestry Program through the Working Forests Initiative.

Lawns and Lawn Alternatives

Monday, March 8, 2021. 7:00 pm

Speaker: Gretel Anspach of Massachusetts Master Gardeners Association.

Lawns are imported garden fixtures from places with cool, wet summers. Here a “perfect” lawn is a major drain on water supplies, a source of pollution, and a lot of work. Look at options for tailoring your lawn and your lawn care to fit your needs, potentially eliminating hundreds of hours of labor and expensive treatments every year. The talk will include some discussion of alternatives to the traditional grass lawn.

Click here to watch recorded webinar

Lawns and Lawn Alternatives presentation slides

Funding for this webinar was provided by the MA DCR Service Forestry Program through the Working Forests Initiative.


Rain Garden on Merriam Avenue in Leominster

Installing Raingardens with Native plants for Healthy Waters

Friday February 26, 2021 12:00 noon

Speakers: Edward Himlan, Massachusetts Watershed Coalition, and Joel Betts, Worcester County Conservation District. Nearly every property contributes polluted stormwater runoff to its local waterway. Learn about potential sources of pollution from your property and how installing a rain garden could address these while providing many additional benefits. Then get into the details of how to successfully plan, install, and maintain a rain garden and the benefits and requirements of specific native plants that can do the job.

Click here to watch recorded webinar

WCCD Rain Garden PPT_Final

For additional resources see: Calvin University webpage