Consultation, Public Speaking, and Events

Education & Consultation

Richard McCoy provides insightful, practical one-on-one consultation services, original presentations packed with information on native plants, sustainability, organic land care, and many other topics related to ecological land care in Princeton, Pennington, Lawrenceville, Basking Ridge, Bedminster, Deal, Point Pleasant, and surrounding parts of New Jersey and the tri-state area.

Our Experience

Richard is a current member of the Ecological Landscape Alliance Speakers Bureau and has been a featured speaker at the Temple University Ambler Arboretum Speaker Series, Morris County Park Commission’s Organic Lawn Care Seminars, Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown, NJ, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, and many other Garden Clubs throughout the area. Additionally, Richard has presented for many New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association (NJNLA) trade events. Since 2013, Richard has had a recurring role with the Rutgers Organic Land Care Program Certificate Course providing continuing education focused on native plants and lawn alternatives and a practitioner panel member.

Richard’s consulting and public outreach have included working with large commercial property management groups to expand their inclusion of native plants and improve and rewrite their contracted planting specifications. Privately, Richard has worked with clients to show their gardens on many garden tours, such as The Garden Club of America Tour 2010.

Properties that have been designed and maintained by Richard and company have hosted homes shown with the Princeton Environmental Commission’s Green Home and Garden Tours and have participated in the Sustainable Princeton and Sustainable Lawrence yearly events. In the fall of 2013, McCoy Horticultural welcomed The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society for a garden tour. These same properties are also utilized as field training sites for continuing education in organic and ecological land care.


Where We’ve Been Featured

Currently Offered Presentation Titles & Descriptions

All presentations may be tailored to any audience, whether industry professional, municipality, HOA or homeowners, unless otherwise specified.

  • Building Ecology in a Residential Landscape with Native Plants​ (60 min and 15 – 30 min Q&A)

    • – Presentation Description The misconceptions of the uses of and for native plants are numerous. To dispel misconceptions on native plants, we must first understand why we utilize native plants in our landscapes and why we must remove problematic invasive species. That reason is ecology. Ecology that begins with the soil under foot to insects that inhabit the very tops of the tree canopy and every living organism in-between these vast spaces.

    • – Discussion points:
      – What are invasive plant species and why are they problematic?
      – Are native plants really so important?
      – What and how to define a native plant?
      – Native substitutions / replacements for invasive species
      – Nothing else matters if you do not plant properly!

  • Proper Planting Practices​: Are We Landscaping in a Deficit Model? (45 min and 15 min Q&A)

    • – Presentation Description: In the Nursery and Landscape Industry, there is an overabundance of clouded misinformation passed down to the general public. From every direction, this inaccurate or antiquated information flows. There are visual examples that exist everywhere of managed, subpar landscapes from Big Box stores and local Mom and Pop nurseries to examples on the internet.

      With a significant difference in quality between companies that offer best practices and a plethora of companies that provide subpar services, what are unsuspecting consumers to expect from their landscape architect, designer, or contractor?

    • – Participants of “Proper Planting Practices” Are We Landscaping in a Deficit Model? will obtain information on the current techniques of proper planting. This information can be taken back to the home landscape or passed on to the landscape professional for immediate implementation.

    • – This presentation is suitable for industry professionals and non-industry participants alike and includes hands-on demonstrations.
        – Discussion points:
        – Are We Landscaping in a Deficit Model?
        – The Root (collar) of the problem
        – Right Plant – Right Place
        – Proper Planting B&B and Container plants
        – Value vs. Cheap – You get what you pay for

  • From Tree Nursery to Tree Installation – Plants, Planting and Plant Care​: The Do’s, The Don’ts and The What Were They Thinking? (45 min and 15 min Q&A)


  • An Introduction to Organic Land Care​ (currently the most requested as it covers all aspects of OLC) (60 min and 15 – 30 min Q&A)

    • – Presentation Description:​ As the title states, this is an introduction, a broad view of a multi-layered systems approach to land care where all living things are considered. Participants will gain a better understanding of how to utilize organic/ecological landscape design and maintenance strategies and how to apply these strategies in their homes and businesses.

    • – Discussion points:
         – What is Organic Land Care (OLC)
         – The history of OLC
         – The Rutgers OLC Best Management Practices Manual
         – Practical applications of (OLC)
         – Solutions to problematic landscape areas
         – Organic Turf and Landscape maintenance systems
         – Organic vs. Synthetic Pesticides
         – Earth and the Anthropocene

  • Incorporation of native plants in the landscape and lawn alternatives​ (2hrs plus Q&A)


  • Ecological strategies to manage pests and pathogens in the landscape​ (45 min and 15 min Q&A)

    • – Presentation Description: ​Participants of ecological strategies to manage pests and pathogens in the landscape will learn how to view the landscape as a whole living system. As well as, how best cultural practices and appropriate native plants in the landscape will eliminate the need for synthetic chemicals to suppress pests and pathogens in the managed landscape.

    • – Discussion points:
         – Framework for ecological organic land care
         – View the managed landscape as a whole living system
         – Poor cultural practices = pathogens
         – Pollinators, parasitoids, pests and plants
         – Last resort applications (Rescue treatments)


  • Organic Turf in Practice​: An Organic Lawn Care Primer (45 min and 15 min Q&A)



  • How do you know if your organic lawn care provider is really organic?​ (45 min and 15 min Q&A)

    Discussion points:

    • – Compare and define different types of turf care
         – Traditional lawn program
         – Bridge lawn program
         – Regenerative turf systems
         – Organic turf systems

    • – Red flags to recognize
         – Terms to understand
         – Rights as consumer
         – Who can you trust? Ask these questions….

    • – Ecological and organic land care
         – Take your lawn and property to another level
         – Importance of native plants
         – Reduce your lawn areas that are problematic or where lawns are not necessary.<

    • – Homegrown National Park

Services We Offer

  • On-site Consultations and Seminars for Homeowner Associations, Commercial Proprieties and Property Management Companies, and Municipalities

  • Expert Advice on Plant Material, Placement, Techniques, etc. for Do-It-Yourselfers

  • Detailed Presentations for Green Industry Pros, Homeowner Associations, Garden Clubs, and More




420 Rt 31
Ringoes New Jersey 08551

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