Environmental Groups, Lawn Care/Pesticide Companies And Government Agencies Join Together To Educate Consumers

On March 14-17, 2004 in San Antonio, Texas, a coalition of business, government, and environmental groups are coming together to adopt a common set of “environmental guidelines for responsible lawn care and landscaping.” While in San Antonio they will decide how best to educate the consumer on the proper use of pesticides and fertilizers, how to conserve water and how to protect wildlife while maintaining a healthy and attractive home landscape.

The San Antonio conference, “Environmental Lawn Care and Landscaping: Reaching the Consumer” is being organized by the “Lawns & Environment” coalition (L&E) under the auspices of the Center for Resource Management (CRM).

L&E is a voluntary coalition of lawn care/landscaping industry organizations, environmental groups and government agencies who are involved in residential landscaping issues. The coalition includes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, The Scotts Company, TORO Company, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Professional Lawn Care Association of America, Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE), San Antonio Water System, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Businesses for the Bay/Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and Agronomy and Horticulture Services. The coalition has developed a common set of environmental guidelines for responsible lawn care and landscaping that will be presented in the conference.

The Scotts Company is a founding member and gold sponsor of L&E and is active in coalition activities. Chris Schmenk, Director of Environmental Stewardship of Scotts said, “Scotts is pleased to join with other leading organizations in a common effort to educate consumers about best management practices of responsible lawn care and landscaping. We support the consensus building approach demonstrated by the Lawns & the Environment Initiative.”

The National Audubon Society is also a founding member of the “Lawns & Environment Initiative” and active participant in the project steering committee. Tess Present, Senior Scientist for Ecology and Conservation and former director of the “Audubon at Home” program said, “The National Audubon Society is working to help people protect birds and other wildlife and to maintain healthy yards. We are happy to join with other organizations who support these goals and want to do a better job of educating the consumer about responsible lawn care and landscaping practices.” Audubon’s mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds and other wildlife and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity.

The San Antonio conference will include speakers and presentations from organizations that are involved in these issues and public outreach programs from across the country. Conference participants will have opportunities throughout the three-day meeting to voice their opinions and provide recommendations concerning the proposed environmental guidelines and how best to educate and motivate consumers to adopt these practices in their home yards and landscapes. The conference is open to individuals and organizations that are active in lawn care and landscaping activities and their associated environmental issues.

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