Ditch the fertilizers and weed killers and make your lawn environmentally friendly this fall.
Join Paul Tukey, the Glenstone Museum’s Chief Sustainability Officer, and Beth McGee, Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) Director of Science and Agricultural Policy, for a free live webinar at noon on Oct. 7 about how your lawncare choices affect the environment. Online registration in advance is required to join.
Tukey and McGee will discuss how to create natural landscapes using native plants that add habitat for local wildlife and reduce polluted rain runoff. By incorporating these techniques into your lawncare you can help restore the local environment and improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
“We want to show people the beauty and the benefits of having a more natural landscape,” said McGee. “We’ll be encouraging homeowners to embrace native plants, add trees, and replace swaths of turf with low maintenance groundcovers. The traditional suburban lawn, which often requires fertilizers and herbicides to maintain, is going out of style. We can help you transition into the future.”
At the webinar, Tukey and McGee will detail ways homeowners can plant native grasses, clovers and other types of ground cover to create a lush lawn composed of diverse plant species. Doing so will increase soil health, which brings back a complex ecosystem of microorganisms and enables the soil to store more water.
Lawns compose more than 3 million acres of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, meaning what happens to them affects the Bay’s health. When it rains on lawns, the water can wash away fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals that then flow into local waterways and ultimately the Bay. Removing traditional turf lawns and replanting with native plants can greatly reduce this polluted runoff.
Tukey leads sustainability efforts at Glenstone, a nearly 300-acre contemporary art museum in Montgomery County, Maryland. He is also the author of The Organic Lawn Care Manual, a book that details how to grow a gorgeous lawn free of harsh chemicals. McGee has worked for CBF for 17 years and currently leads the organization’s efforts to help farmers implement regenerative agriculture techniques that restore healthy soils and reduce water runoff.
Fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides that wash away from turf lawns after rainstorms contribute to the overall pollution loads that Bay watershed states are working to clean up by 2025 under the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint goals. Once in the Bay, these pollutants can cause harmful algal blooms that cloud the water and deplete dissolved oxygen, which kills marine life, among other negative effects.
Reducing lawn pollutants is a key component of watershed-wide efforts to reach the 2025 goals. Watch the webinar Wed., Oct. 7 to see how you can make a difference.
More information about the Speakers:
Paul Tukey, Chief Sustainability Officer, Glenstone Museum
Paul Tukey came to Glenstone in 2010 as a sustainable landscape consultant and joined the museum as a full-time associate three years later to focus on all aspects of sustainability and regeneration in grounds and buildings. He is the author of the best-selling book, The Organic Lawn Care Manual, as well as hundreds of articles on many aspects of natural landscape techniques. Paul was named the first-ever Green Medal of Honor recipient from the Garden Writers of America in 2017. An avid photographer, writer and runner, he resides in Maryland with his wife and two daughters.
Beth McGee, Director of Science and Ag Policy, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Dr. Beth McGee is the Director of Science and Agricultural Policy with CBF. Beth has been at CBF since 2003 where she is the lead policy advisor and coordinator on regional water quality and agricultural initiatives. For more than 30 years, Beth has been very active in Chesapeake Bay issues, conducting research, serving on technical subcommittees and advisory groups, testifying before Congress, and helping shape the precedent-setting clean-up plan for the Chesapeake Bay. In her spare time, she likes doing anything outside—kayaking, hiking, biking.
Glenstone, a museum of modern and contemporary art, is integrated into nearly 300 acres of gently rolling pasture and unspoiled woodland in Montgomery County, Maryland, less than 15 miles from the heart of Washington, DC. Established by the not-for-profit Glenstone Foundation, the museum opened in 2006 and provides a contemplative, intimate setting for experiencing iconic works of art and architecture within a natural environment.
Glenstone is open Thursdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to Glenstone is free and visits can be scheduled online at: www.glenstone.org.