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Scotts Miracle-Gro Encourages Officials To Consider Home Landscapes "The Original Green Infrastructure"

MARYSVILLE, Ohio, Nov. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE: SMG) recently reaffirmed its commitment to working with elected leaders across the U.S. to make sure landscapes and green space are utilized as important tools in efforts to ensure a sustainable supply of clean water.

At a recent U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) water council meeting in Washington, ScottsMiracle-Gro vice president of environmental affairs Mark Slavens told attendees that science shows residential lawns and landscapes serve as some of the most effective tools to reduce storm water runoff, protect against erosion and nutrient loss and increase groundwater recharge. He said the company stands ready to work with officials to help raise awareness about the myriad benefits found in the environments around homes and in urban areas.

"We think it's critical to not only provide water-friendly products to consumers, but to also work with stakeholders to find science-based solutions to water quality issues," Slavens said.  "We have a solid track record of collaborating to promote sustainable lawn and garden care practices, and, very importantly, using our products in a way that protects our vital waterways."

Slavens, who holds a doctorate degree in turf science from Cornell, also told the group that many of ScottsMiracle-Gro's recent innovations in the lawn and garden category have been focused on promoting clean and adequate water supplies.

"Whether it's developing region-specific grass seed, developing landscape mulches and soils that use water more efficiently, or making good on our commitment to remove phosphorus from our market-leading TurfBuilder brand lawn food products, we are always focused on protecting and preserving vital natural resources," Slavens added.

"Mayors across the U.S. are working daily to protect and preserve their communities' waters," said Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who also chairs the USCM's water council.  "We appreciate the collaboration and commitment of industry leaders like Scotts Miracle-Gro on water issues and we look forward to continuing our work together."

ScottsMiracle-Gro's Slavens also pointed to several recent water-driven initiatives of the company, including:
  • Removing phosphorus from its category-leading Turfbuilder® brand lawn food maintenance products
  • Increasing the amount of slow release nitrogen in the company's lawn food products to boost feeding efficiency and reduce potential runoff and leaching
  • Partnering with the National Association of Conservation Districts to educate homeowners on sustainable lawn care practices through a Backyard Conservation program.
  • Last spring in Texas, Scotts launched Texas Water Smart®, a public/private partnership that has become the state's largest consumer water conservation and education initiative in just over a year, leveraging the company's marketing expertise and resources to help bring critical water conservation messaging to consumers across the drought-plagued state. The initiative, which includes advertising, point of sale information, educational materials and workshops, now includes hundreds of elected officials, including Texas Agricultural Commissioner Todd Staples.  It also counts many water authority officials, major retailers, industry representatives and other utilities and companies committed to drought relief.
  • Taking advantage of the direct to consumer education opportunity, TurfBuilder® brand product packaging now includes environmental stewardship practices for consumers.
  • This past spring in Florida, Scotts radio advertising carried a message reminding consumers to keep lawn food products on lawns, where they help to grow healthy grass, and off of driveways and impervious surfaces where they could be washed away into local waterways.
  • The company's commitment to water quality has also been demonstrated in its market-leading applicator innovations like its EdgeGuard® technology and SNAP® spreader system that help consumers make sure fertilizer stays on their lawns and that the right amounts are applied.

Slavens concluded: "We've made good progress in many areas, but we can always continue to do better, which is why we appreciate the opportunity to share our insights and hear the feedback of our stakeholders, especially mayors, who many times are their communities' water quality stewards."

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