This is a challenge to all Long Islanders: What if we could reinvent the suburban lawn, right where we invented it in the first place? What if we decided not to put 5,000,000 lbs of pesticides on the ground here every year? What if we chose native plantings? What if we stopped putting high nitrogen (more than 10% on the bag) fertilizers on our lawns, and therefore into our groundwater, our drinking water, and into our bays, rivers and ponds, where it contributes to destructive algal blooms? What if Long Islanders stopped putting one third of our water per year on our lawns? We have but one source of water on Long Island — water left by glaciers, and we are fast depleting it and contaminating it. What if we could have beautiful yards, and healthier ponds, streams and bays?
You don’t need lawn fertilizer when the best food for your lawns is grass clippings, created by a good mulching mower. Why have those clippings raked up, stuffed in plastic bags, and dumped in a landfill, then with the lawn starved for nutrients, have high nitrogen fertilizer spread around? In the Fall, why have all your leaves raked up and stuffed in bags when again a good mulching mower makes all that plant food? Why have the constant roar of noisy, polluting leaf blowers? Why pay for that when its costly and unnecessary?
Here is where The I Love Long Island Campaign comes in. Dozens of local environmental organizations and natural lawn care specialists have banded together to change how Long Islanders go about lawn care. If we want a sustainable Long Island, where people and nature can coexist, we must abandon our toxic lawns and embrace the place — Long Island, as it is was and was meant to be. So go to the site, take the pledge. You can also support Save The Great South Bay’s own efforts by contributing to a moratorium on high nitrogen fertilizers here.