|ScottsMiracle-Gro Announces Commitment to Enhancing Florida Water Quality with Multi-Year Consumer Education and Funding of Scientific Research|
"As the leader in consumer lawn and garden care, we have a responsibility to help our consumers use our products correctly in order to be good stewards of the environment," said chairman and chief executive officer
Over the past several years, ScottsMiracle-Gro has taken key steps to improve the environmental profile of its lawn care products by removing phosphorus, reducing the amount of total nitrogen while also increasing the amount of slow-release nitrogen. The company has also introduced innovations in its widely-used lawn spreaders to ensure on-target fertilizer application. Additionally, enhanced instructions on product packaging provide consumers with clear instructions on how to use the products successfully while also helping to protect water quality.
"We have an obligation to help protect the environment and to ensure our products are being used correctly," said Hagedorn. "We embrace that obligation and are committing resources that will take us beyond what we've done before. We are proud to take a leadership role in this effort and we encourage others to do the same."
ScottsMiracle-Gro's commitment will be demonstrated in the four following ways:
1. INVESTING IN FLORIDA-BASED SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
The company's Florida commitment includes funding of environmental research and academic organizations that are focused on having fact-based conversations about the impact of lawn and garden activities on water quality and developing effective solutions, regardless of the nutrient source.
The first of these projects is a two-year research grant to the
"There are a lot of complicated issues that are causing water quality concerns in Florida," Allen said. "We are looking to independent, science-based research to help better understand the root causes of these problems and to suggest solutions."
2. COMMITMENT TO EDUCATING FLORIDA HOMEOWNERS
Beginning this spring, ScottsMiracle-Gro will invest in radio and online advertising, a new, web-based consumer resource (www.scotts.com/florida) and also in-store messaging, as part of an effort to remind Florida consumers about the importance of practicing responsible lawn and garden activities. Additionally, Scotts LawnService will be providing new
Another component of ScottsMiracle-Gro's education efforts will be a range of education tools that city and county governments and elected officials can utilize to communicate directly to local residents. All of Scotts' branded and unbranded education content will be based on the lawn and garden care recommendations of leading academic experts in the field of turf science.
3. PARTNERING WITH FLORIDIANS TO HELP RESTORE NATURAL RESOURCES
A third component of the company's commitment includes partnering with environmental restoration groups on water restoration projects, the first of which, announced last week, will provide 80,000 salt marsh plants through a partnership with Tampa Bay Watch.
Called "Bay Grasses in Classes,"
4. SUPPORTING GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE THROUGH COMMUNITY GARDENING
Because lawns and green spaces serve as some of the most effective tools to reduce storm water runoff, protect against erosion and nutrient loss and also increase groundwater recharge, a final component of the program will include the creation or support of community gardens and green spaces in every Florida county over the next three years. The effort will be part of the company's GRO1000 initiative, which, in collaboration with partners such as the
"The benefits of community gardens have been documented countless times and we've seen just how powerful a garden can be as part of our GRO1000 effort," Hagedorn said. "Whether through large projects or smaller contributions, we're confident our GRO1000 commitment to Florida will provide both human and environmental benefits to communities throughout the state."
CURRENT EFFORTS REFLECT A STARTING POINT
Hagedorn stressed that ScottsMiracle-Gro is committed to ongoing engagement and improvement.
"The very act of lawn and garden care is the most tangible way that most homeowners interact with the environment," Hagedorn said. "Gardeners love the environment, and so do we. It is the very embodiment of our business. While we are excited about these new initiatives, we will continue to look for even better solutions whenever possible."
"At the end of the day, everyone who lives in Florida wants water quality across the state to improve, and we're committed to helping where we can and working with others to find solutions."
Lance Latham, 937-361-1263