Letter: Keep your yard thriving and our waters healthy

Posted 9/9/21

Most people want a healthy, green yard. Many use various combinations of herbicides, pesticides and chemicals to make their yards insect- and weed-free, as well as green. However, the impact of …

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Letter: Keep your yard thriving and our waters healthy

Posted

Most people want a healthy, green yard. Many use various combinations of herbicides, pesticides and chemicals to make their yards insect- and weed-free, as well as green. However, the impact of this approach on local bodies of water — like Bristol Harbor, Silver Creek and ultimately Narragansett Bay – can be devastating.

Forty percent of chemicals applied to our lawns make their way into our waters through stormwater runoff. Marine life is threatened by direct toxicity of herbicides and pesticides and by algae blooms that rob the water of oxygen necessary for survival of these ecosystems.

Can we have both thriving lawns AND waters?  Happily, the answer is an emphatic YES! A flyer produced through collaboration of the Bristol Conservation Commission, Save Bristol Harbor, Save the Bay and a professor of Environmental Sciences, provides easy and low-cost approaches to achieve both healthy yards and healthy waters.

It outlines how and when to apply slow-release or organic fertilizers to minimize harm to water bodies, the preferred height for mowing lawns and the benefits of leaving clippings on lawns.

It also encourages consideration of a combination of green ground covers as an alternative to a manicured lawn. The former is a way to add interest to your yard without costly and time-consuming applications of chemicals and watering that lush lawns demand. It can liberate you from these chores and benefit the environment, too.

Please take a look at Healthy Yards/Healthy Waters – Sustainable Lawn Care” and decide for yourself.  Its available in local shops and kiosks, and as an insert in home deliveries of the Phoenix. You can also find it on the web page of the Bristol Conservation Commission: https://www.bristolri.gov/government/commissions/conservation-commission/ 

Tony Morettini
Bristol

Mr. Morettini  is chairman of the Bristol Conservation Commission.

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