City of Mesa Creates Botanical Walkway as Part of National GRO1000 Gardens and Green Spaces Program Nature walkway to provide educational, recreational space for local residents with support of ScottsMiracle-Gro

MESA, Ariz., April 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A new Botanical Walkway at McKellips and Ellsworth Park is now a reality through The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company's and The U.S. Conference of Mayors' nationwide GRO1000 gardens and green spaces program. The new walkway, which was dedicated today, will be home to a model desert environment intended to increase the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of native horticulture among residents. The walkway was initially supported in 2012 as part of the iMesa Parks and Recreation Bond program.

GRO1000 is a national program launched by ScottsMiracle-Gro in 2011 to create more than 1,000 community gardens and green spaces in the U.S., Canada and Europe by 2018. The U.S. Conference of Mayors partnered with ScottsMiracle-Gro on the GRO1000 initiative to recognize mayors for the installation of innovative, public green spaces designed to improve our nation's cities. The Botanical Walkway at McKellips and Ellsworth Park will support Mayor Smith's honoring of the legacy of Mesa pioneers in an effort to enhance, protect and foster greater appreciation for the local desert environment.

"The Arizona desert is unique in so many ways, and I am proud that ScottsMiracle-Gro selected our Botanical Walkway project as model for displaying the natural beauty of the southwest," said Scott Smith, Mayor of Mesa and U.S. Conference of Mayors President. "This project grew from our iMesa initiative that asked our residents how to make Mesa a better place to live. New and improved parks were at the top of the list and with the help of ScottsMiracle-Gro and the voters of Mesa, we are happy to deliver."

The GRO1000 Mesa event at McKellips and Ellsworth Park kicks off at 10:30 a.m. on April 1 at 9320 East McKellips Road, Mesa, Ariz. 85207. More than 1,000 students and staff from nearby Zaharis Elementary School will join local volunteers, including area residents and ScottsMiracle-Gro associates, city officials and GRO1000 national and local partners, to plant native desert plants. Educational gardening and environmental activities will be available for area residents and youth. One deserving student will be presented with the ScottsMiracle-Gro Give Back To Gro Youth Gardener Award.

"ScottsMiracle-Gro is proud to partner with Mayor Scott Smith and the City of Mesa to establish the McKellips and Ellsworth Botanical Walkway," said Jim Tates, President, U.S. West Region and Latin America, ScottsMiracle-Gro. "Generations of Mesa residents will be able to enjoy this green space and celebrate the beauty and unique qualities of the desert environment."

GRO1000 Mesa was made possible through the combined efforts of local partners, including the City of Mesa and Zaharis Elementary School, along with national partners including, The U.S. Conference of Mayors, ScottsMiracle-Gro, Plant A Row for the Hungry, the National Gardening Association, the Garden Writers Association, and Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. The Mesa GRO1000 event is one of several public installation events being held in the U.S., Canada and Europe in 2014.

About ScottsMiracle-Gro
With more than $2.8 billion in worldwide sales, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care. The Company's brands are the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company's Scotts®, Miracle-Gro® and Ortho® brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup® brand, which is marketed in North America and most of Europe exclusively by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. In the U.S., we operate Scotts LawnService®, the second largest residential lawn care service business.  In Europe, the Company's brands include Weedol®, Pathclear®, Evergreen®, Levington®, Miracle-Gro®, KB®, Fertiligene® and Substral®. For additional information, visit us at www.scotts.com.

About the U.S. Conference of Mayors:
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,210 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. Find us at usmayors.org, on facebook.com/usmayors, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/usmayors.

SOURCE The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company



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