Clean Waters for Healthy Plants: Scotts Miracle-Gro Welcomes Healthy Water Ohio Initiative to Marysville
As gardeners, we know the value of clean, abundant water. It is the lifeblood that sprouts our plant seeds into endless vegetation varieties. As we seek to express our creativity in our own yards, water is the necessary ingredient that sustains our landscapes.
However, recent years have been difficult “water years” across the globe, especially North America. Almost all of California has been mired in an historic drought this year, while large portions of north Texas still have not escaped the exceptional drought conditions that have gripped the much of the state since 2011.
Even where water is available, it has not been good news: a harmful algal bloom in Lake Erie put 400,000 residents of Toledo, Ohio out of clean drinking water for three days. Large scale algal blooms off of Florida’s coasts the past two years have led to unprecedented wildlife deaths.
Fortunately, Scotts Miracle-Gro has a good history of adding value to water causes; including helping our consumers have a positive impact on water quality and water use. For example, much of our product development work is dedicated to helping keep water clean and bountiful. This includes our lawn food formulations, applicator innovations, and advanced seed technology research.
Beyond our products, we have worked with a number of external partners to better understand how we can lead the lawn and garden industry in achieving broader societal water goals. This dates back to almost a decade ago when we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chesapeake Bay Program to voluntarily reduce the amount of phosphorus in our products.
In Texas, we proved that a strong public-private partnership could deliver water conservation results through a coordinated consumer education campaign. Known as Texas WaterSmart, the program saved enough water to avoid the need for outdoor water restrictions during the height of the state’s drought. This protected our business in the state, but more importantly, demonstrated to thousands of consumers they could still have vibrant landscapes using less water.
Our most visible recent investment in water protection has been in Florida. Here a dynamic, cross-functional team of associates has taken a number of new approaches for the company under our “Smarter Solutions for Cleaner Waterways” campaign. The majority of this work has been providing consumers with best yard stewardship practices and advancing the research and restoration work of unconventional partners. This is helping to provide a sound science understanding of how the lawn and garden industry can be an asset in the state’s efforts to keep its waters clean.
This week presents a new opportunity to continue our leadership in water efforts, as we welcome the Healthy Water Ohio (HWO) initiative to our office in Marysville. The initiative aims to develop a long-range plan that will sustainably meet current and future water needs while enhancing the economy and quality of life for all Ohioans. Healthy Water Ohio is a diverse partnership of stakeholders from conservation, business and industry, universities, water suppliers, agriculture and others to lead the development of a 20 to 30 year Ohio water resource management strategy. This grassroots initiative will be comprehensive and collaborative.
Ann Aquillo, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, and Healthy Water Ohio steering committee member will lead the effort in ensuring the lawn and garden industry as a whole demonstrates leadership on water issues.
You can learn more about this initiative at: http://healthywaterohio.org/