MPAC’s Ryan Anderson recaps MGG’s progress the past two years and the work we still need to do in 2018.
I’m happy that our last stop for 2018 was in Elmhurst, because in many ways Elmhurst represents Midwest Grows Green’s (MGG) trajectory. Both projects started nearly two years ago. Both experienced successes over two years. But, most importantly, both have a lot of unfinished business to address in 2018 and the future.
From 2016 to 2017, Cool Cities motivated 99 Elmhurst residents to take the pledge. They got in contact with the Elmhurst Park District and achieved the pesticide free Van Voorst Park. Finally, they helped identify Pioneer Garden & Feed for our Point-of-Purchase Program.
Elmhurst Cool Cities Coalition, undoubtedly, played a crucial role in achieving the following MGG numbers for 2016 to 2017:
- MGG’s Pesticide-Free Parks Program had a role in transitioning 171 acres of park land to natural lawn care, which eliminated an estimated 722 lbs of pesticides per year and 66,709 lbs of synthetic fertilizers per year.
- MGG onboarded 20 stores to its Point-of-Purchase Program, who added an estimated 59 eco-friendly lawn care products to their inventories.
- 418 individuals took the MGG pledge equating to the natural lawn care transition of 83.6 acres of privately managed lawns. This reduced an estimated 12,874.4 lbs/yr of Weed and Feed, 3,604.8 lbs/yr of nitrogen, 103 lbs/yr of pesticides, and 643.7 lbs/yr of phosphorus.
These successes are significant, but MPAC has larger plans in 2018 that need support. In Elmhurst, Cool Cities wants to add more Pesticide-Free Parks and collaborate with the school district to adopt a natural lawn care policy. In the Chicago Calumet region, we formed a unique partnership with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago to test and demonstrate the added benefits realized from restoring soil quality and reducing toxic inputs through applying the natural lawn care approach. And in Wisconsin, we partnered with three local authorities that will designate turf for natural management in 2018 and use the MGG brand to outreach to their communities.
What can you do to support these efforts in 2018? First, you can give MPAC a gift to our efforts at bit.ly/MPACgift.
If you can’t donate this year, please share our impactful programs. Take the MGG pledge and help push for more natural lawn care policies at bit.ly/MGGpledge. Or inform your local park/school district or municipality about our MGG Lawn & Land Forum workshop November 13th and share the forum’s resources with them. Or simply share our materials on Facebook or Twitter.
Any support helps. Thank you!