3. PARTNERING WITH FLORIDIANS TO HELP RESTORE NATURAL RESOURCES
A third component of the company's commitment includes partnering with environmental restoration groups on water restoration projects, the first of which, announced last week, will provide 80,000 salt marsh plants through a partnership with Tampa Bay Watch.
Called "Bay Grasses in Classes," Tampa-area middle and high schools students will tend native plant nurseries on school grounds. Those students and ScottsMiracle-Gro associates will transfer the plants to designated restoration sites within the Tampa Bay estuary. The restoration plantings help clean the Bay by filtering nutrients, while the students learn real-world environmental and agronomic education principles that will help them become the next generation of stewards for Florida's waterways.
4. SUPPORTING GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE THROUGH COMMUNITY GARDENINGBecause lawns and green spaces serve as some of the most effective tools to reduce storm water runoff, protect against erosion and nutrient loss and also increase groundwater recharge, a final component of the program will include the creation or support of community gardens and green spaces in every Florida county over the next three years. The effort will be part of the company's GRO1000 initiative, which, in collaboration with partners such as the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Plant-A-Row For the Hungry, will establish community gardens in 1,000 U.S. communities by 2018. "The benefits of community gardens have been documented countless times and we've seen just how powerful a garden can be as part of our GRO1000 effort," Hagedorn said. "Whether through large projects or smaller contributions, we're confident our GRO1000 commitment to Florida will provide both human and environmental benefits to communities throughout the state." CURRENT EFFORTS REFLECT A STARTING POINT Hagedorn stressed that ScottsMiracle-Gro is committed to ongoing engagement and improvement. "The very act of lawn and garden care is the most tangible way that most homeowners interact with the environment," Hagedorn said. "Gardeners love the environment, and so do we. It is the very embodiment of our business. While we are excited about these new initiatives, we will continue to look for even better solutions whenever possible."