National Mall Makeover Takes Root in Washington

(Washington, D.C.) Viewing a root system that had grown nearly a foot deep - during late-season and winter months - SafeLawns & Landscapes co-founder Todd Harrington declared the first phase of the National Mall organic makeover a resounding success.

Late in September of 2007, the National Parks Service awarded two two-acre parcels of the National Mall to SafeLawns & Landscapes for an organic lawn care trial. On one parcel, the existing soil was plowed and blended with compost and other organic soil amendments, according to Harrington's specifications. The second plot was top-dressed with organic fertilizers and amendments. A third plot of similar size was renovated with the National Parks Service existing program of applying synthetic chemical fertilizers.

When the fence came down around the trial plots during the morning of March 27, the two plots maintained by SafeLawns & Landscapes looked visibly better - and the soft, lush grass was soon enjoyed by throngs of Frisbee throwers and sunbathers. The trial will continue for 18 more months to evaluate how the renovated area responds to all the foot traffic typical to the Mall, which attracts upwards of 30 million visitors each year.

"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 a release posted on the National Parks Service web site at www.nps.gov. The organically maintained grass is sited between 3rd and 7th Streets, between the U.S. Capitol Building and Washington Monument.

"This is exactly the kind of high visibility project we had in mind when we conceived of our organization in February of 2006," said Paul J. Tukey of Cumberland, Maine, founder of SafeLawns.org and author of a book, The Organic Lawn Care Manual. "The fact that we are growing nice grass on the National Mall, where 30 million people trample the lawn each year, will prove that we can grow grass anywhere. Most importantly, we have proven that you can grow grass without relying on the toxic chemical fertilizers and pesticides that are poisoning water and air, as well as people and their pets."

 

For more on the Mall makeover, visit www.safelawns.org.

About Bradfield Organics® Products

Bradfield Organics® products are high-performance, organic fertilizers that are safe for children, animals and the environment. The products are composed of non-synthetic, natural sources of nutrients that help build organic matter and nourish soil microbe fertility, encouraging the production of vigorous plants with deep, robust root systems. www.bradfieldorganics.com.

 

Bradfield Organics® Selected as Fertilizer Choice for National Mall Organic Lawn Test

(St. Louis, MO) Bradfield Organics® fertilizers were selected by SafeLawns.org to be used for an organic renovation of four acres of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The project is a collaboration involving the National Park Service (NPS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Safelawns.org. This project plans to evaluate the efficacy of organic practices and products on a test site over the course of two years.

Safelawns.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting natural lawn care, is conducting the test, which the other two agencies will evaluate.

Representatives of SafeLawns.org began the test by tilling a four-acre section of existing lawn, adding compost, other natural soil amendments and Bradfield Organics® fertilizer before reseeding the area. The team will return to the site frequently over the next two years to continue an organic maintenance program. The NPS and EPA will evaluate each of three plots: one maintained conventionally by the NPS, a second that has received standard organic treatment (maintenance via organic products), and a third that has had a complete organic makeover, with the focus on building healthy soil before planting.

"We are pleased to provide our products for such a high visibility endeavor," notes Bill Sadler, who heads up the Bradfield Organics® product line for PMI Nutrition International, LLC. "We are participating in this test precisely because we are confident it will be a success. With over 25 million people annually visiting our nation's capital, we expect this will be a highly visible demonstration of the effectiveness of organics."

Bradfield Organics® lawn fertilizer is an important part of the success of an organic lawn program because it provides lawns, and the microbes that live in the soil, the food energy necessary to thrive. In other words, it provides the calories as well as other necessary nutrients. For a lawn with an extreme amount of foot traffic, additional nutrients can be especially valuable.

"Õve been extremely pleased with the performance of the Bradfield products at other tests in the past year and a half," said HGTV host Paul Tukey, author of the Organic Lawn Care Manual and founder of SafeLawns.org. "I especially like the fact that the Bradfield Organics® products are made of feed-level ingredients and that the products actually smell earthy and sweet, not offensive in any way. This is especially important in a high-profile site like the Mall. I imagine that's important to homeowners with small children and close neighbors, too."

For more information about the study, please visit the NPS website at www.nps.gov/nama/parkmgmt/upload/safelawns.pdf.

About Bradfield Organics® Products

Bradfield Organics® products are high-performance, organic fertilizers that are safe for children, animals and the environment. The products are composed of non-synthetic, natural sources of nutrients that help build organic matter and nourish soil microbe fertility, encouraging the production of vigorous plants with deep, robust root systems. www.bradfieldorganics.com.

 

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