The city of South Euclid, Ohio, has received grant money that will allow it to carry out a demonstration organic land care program at Bexley Park ballfield, according to an article on Cleveland.com.
Community Services Director Keith Benjamin said the project will concentrate on the two baseball/softball fields. At one of the fields, the grant money will be used for organic management practices, while at the field next to it, normal procedures will be used to care for the grass so that any contrast can be easily seen.
In both cases, pesticides will not be used, in accordance with a law City Council approved in 2018 that forbids the use of pesticides on public properties.
South Euclid received the grant from yogurt and dairy company Stonyfield to help the city train its landscaping staff and develop an organic land management plan for the future. Stonyfield is working with Beyond Pesticides, a national environmental and public health group, and Osborne Organics, which provides technical resources to implement organic land management practices.
The grant includes $5,000 to help implement the pilot project at Bexley Park, as well as $15,000 worth of technical assistance from Osborne Organics and Beyond Pesticides.
According to Chip Osborne, president of Osborne Organics and consultant on the project, putting a focus on soil health and non-toxic organic lawn care can lower the long-term costs of managing turf while maintaining the look and quality that land managers and residents expect.
According to the article, organic land care employs a “systems approach” to turf management, which integrates three concepts – an understanding of the particular soil being treated and its biomass, sound management techniques and the use of natural, organic products.
Benjamin said in the article that the ballfield treated through organic management practices will be ready for use next baseball/softball season. He says that this is an educational project, and hopes residents get involved and possibly use some of these organic practices on their own lawns.