East Grand Rapids goes Organic on its Parks

East Grand Rapids, Stonyfield and local partners lead the transition to organic

John Collins Park

Children can play free of synthetic pesticides at two East Grand Rapids parks this year and into the future.

Stonyfield Organic, the nation’s leading organic yogurt company, has teamed up with Midwest Grows Green and the Sierra Club Greater Grand Rapids to help the City of East Grand Rapids eliminate the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers on their fields.  Stonyfield has donated $5,000 for the city of East Grand Rapids to use towards the transition of their parks as well as the in-kind technical resources of expert collaborators.

“East Grand Rapids is an environmentally-conscious community and is always looking for ways to protect and preserve its natural resources,” said East Grand Rapids Mayor Katie Favale. “Partnering with Stonyfield Organic has provided an excellent opportunity to help us continue doing so as we learn more about natural fertilization and processes.”

This spring, East Grand Rapids started testing organic products and approaches at John Collins Park & the soccer field at Manhattan Park. The non-profit natural lawn care initiative Midwest Grows Green (MGG) and Osborne Organics provided technical support, as part of Stonyfield’s donation, for the organic management of the parks for at least three years.

“East Grand Rapids keeps their parks organic by increasing cultural controls of core aeration, overseeding and mowing high that builds the soil, turf and plant system at every step,” said Ryan Anderson, the leader of MGG.

The fertilization program for both parks uses a combination of liquid organic products derived from seaweed and non-GMO soy protein.

“Our grounds maintenance team has applied two applications of liquid organic fertilizer and we are pleased with the turf quality in both locations at this time,” said East Grand Rapids Parks & Recreation Director Fred Bunn. “We look forward to reviewing more long-term results come spring.”

To learn more about organic lawn care and apply these practices to your own lawn, please visit and take the MGG pledge at or visit MGG’s newest resource for pesticide reduction strategies on sports fields at

About Stonyfield Organic

As the country’s leading organic yogurt maker, Stonyfield takes care with everything it puts into its products and everything it keeps out. By saying no to toxic persistent pesticides, artificial hormones, antibiotics and GMOs, Stonyfield has been saying yes to healthy food, healthy people, and a healthy planet for 35 years. Stonyfield, a Certified B-Corp, is also helping to protect and preserve the next generation of farmers and families through programs like its Direct Milk Supply and Wolfe’s Neck Organic Training Program as well as StonyFIELDS, a nationwide, multi-year initiative to help keep families free from toxic persistent pesticides in parks and playing fields across the country.

About Midwest Grows Green

Midwest Grows Green is an initiative of the IPM Institute of North America, Inc. that accomplishes large scale behavior change by sharing pesticide and fertilizer reduction information at critical places where lawns influence our lives. The IPM Institute is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit started in 1998 that improves sustainability in agriculture and communities through market mechanisms based in Integrated Pest Management.

About Sierra Club Greater Grand Rapids Chapter

The Sierra Club is the largest and oldest grassroots organization in the country, with a mission to explore, enjoy and protect the planet. Sierra Club Greater Grand Rapids and its natural lawn care grassroots initiative Growing Green Grand Rapids covers Kent and Ottawa county. Our members are active in various grassroots campaigns (local, statewide and national), to protect and preserve the environment.

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