Attempting to prove to the nation that organic lawn care techniques are safe and effective, SafeLawns.org is undertaking what is most likely the highest profile organic lawn makeover in America.
Representatives of SafeLawns.org recently completed a two-week project that involved plowing a section of existing lawn at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The group then added compost, other natural soil amendments and fertilizers before reseeding the area. SafeLawns.org representatives will return to the Nation’s Capitol frequently in the next two years to continue an organic maintenance program on the area that measures more than four acres.
The National Park Service and the Environmental Protection Agency, which both partnered in the project, will now evaluate each of the three plots; one maintained conventionally by the National Park Service, a second that has received standard organic treatment and a third that has had a complete organic makeover.
“This is a pilot project to demonstrate whether environmentally friendly soil treatments such as compost tea can improve the viability of the soil enough to make grass more viable under the extreme compaction conditions of the National Mall,” according to the National Park Service website. The three-block comparison is between the U.S. Capitol Building and the Washington Monument, starting at 3rd Street and extending to 7th Street.
“This is exactly the kind of high visibility project we had in mind when we conceived our organization in February of 2006,” said Paul Tukey, founder of SafeLawns.org and author of the best-selling book, The Organic Lawn Care Manual. “If we can grow resilient grass on the National Mall, where 27 million people trample the lawn each year, then we will have demonstrated that we can grow grass anywhere. Most importantly, we’ll have proved that you can grow grass without relying on chemical fertilizers and pesticides that can harm wildlife and contaminate drinking water, as well as cause harm to people and their pets.”