ERIE, Pa., May 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Educating homeowners about sustainable lawn care behaviors and the responsible use of fertilizers in preserving water quality was the focus of a water quality forum held today in Erie, Pa.
Hosted by Environment Erie, the Alliance for the Great Lakes and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE: SMG), the forum, which was attended by a diverse group of stakeholders representing urban planning, stormwater management, and water quality stakeholders, discussed community-based solutions to preserve Lake Erie's water quality.
"Lake Erie is essential to the livelihood and character of the Erie area," said Garnet Maniscalco, interim director of Environment Erie. "Because we depend on it for our water supply, along with recreation, tourism and commerce, the protection of Lake Erie is one of the community's top priorities.
"Environment Erie was eager to organize this forum for the community because the conservation of such an important resource is a shared responsibility, and everyone – individuals, businesses, government and community organizations – has an important role to play."
A significant way that individual residents can contribute to water quality is right on their property. "Having a lawn and gardens helps control the runoff of rainfall into waterways and storm sewers," said Rich Shank, PhD., chief environmental officer for ScottsMiracle-Gro. "Plants are important in capturing and filtering rainwater, preventing soil erosion and helping replenish the supply of groundwater.
Homeowners should follow best practices in caring for their lawns, according to Shank. They are:
- Mow grass high. Tall grass grows strong roots, which are better able to absorb water and keep rainfall in your backyard and not moving into storm sewers and waterways.
- Mulch grass clippings. Mulching grass clippings recycles nutrients, and returns organic matter to the soil. Rich soil helps absorb and filter rainfall, reducing erosion and water runoff.
- Clean up. Sweep grass clippings, fertilizer and leaves off of sidewalks, driveways and other hard surfaces to help keep nutrients out of waterways.
"Lake Erie and the rest of the Great Lakes are a national and international treasure, and everyone can play a role in protecting and improving the quality of the water we all rely on," said Joel Brammeier, president and chief executive officer of the Alliance for the Great Lakes. "This forum is a testament to the Erie community's commitment to its waterways and shows that local efforts can make a difference. Together we can protect Lake Erie for generations to come."
The Alliance for the Great Lakes invites people to read about best lawn care practices on its Web site: www.greatlakes.org/lawnsandlakes.
The Alliance for the Great Lakes and ScottsMiracle-Gro plan to host more forums this year. ScottsMiracle-Gro also has made a multi-year commitment to help teach consumers about water quality and conservation practices as they care for their lawns and gardens.
About Environment Erie
Environment Erie, which serves the Erie, Pa. area, is committed to the sustainability of its community's natural resources through restoration, revitalization, and education, especially among its youth. As the Erie region's one-stop-shop for environmental education and services, Environment Erie is here to help make our community a healthier place to live. Together we can continue to improve our environment to create a more sustainable future. Visit each of the organization's programming pages at www.environmenterie.org to learn more about the services being offered or go to the event page to learn how you can get involved!
About the Alliance for the Great Lakes
The Alliance for the Great Lakes is dedicated to the conservation and restoration of the world's largest freshwater resource using policy, education and local efforts, ensuring a healthy Great Lakes and clean water for generations of people and wildlife. For additional information, go to www.greatlakes.org.
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, The Scotts Company LLC, 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 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.
SOURCE The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company