IISG’s Lawn to Lake Program is focused on helping homeowners, landscapers, gardeners, and others adopt landscaping practices that reduce chemical runoff to local waterways, protecting and preserving those sources of water while maintaining thriving lawns and gardens.

There are a number of ways that everyone can keep local waterways clean while keeping their lawns green, and IISG has developed materials for homeowners, landscapers, and others to learn about how they can get involved.

The Nearshore Environment is a new factsheet that provides information on water quality in these areas, how and why degradation occurs, and what you can do to improve a nearshore’s water quality.

“Don’t ‘P’ on your lawn” is a two-sided card (PDF) with healthy lawn tips and info on safe landscaping practices. The title is aimed at getting homeowners to watch out for phosphorus in their fertilizers, because phosphorus can lead to excessive algal blooms in waterways.

Finally, Lawn to Lake will be holding a series of natural lawn care workshops. At each one, landscape companies, turf managers, municipalities, and school districts can learn about the latest in natural lawn care techniques and principles, and explore how to expand your clientele and develop a profitable program. The first of these workshops will be held March 21, 2012 at the John W. Anderson Library and Conference Center at Indiana University Northwest from 8am until 4pm. Discount registration is available for groups, and you can find more information about the workshop at www.spcpweb.org/training.

The Lawn and Lake Summit will take place March 30-31 at the Botanic Gardens in Glencoe, Ill, and homeowners and lawn care professionals can learn how to create and care for lawns and landscapes using organic methods. Friday, March 30, the all-day summit will be directed to the needs of lawn care professionals—golf course superintendents, groundskeepers, city employees and athletic field curators. On Saturday, March 31, homeowners can take part in presentations and discussions that run all morning. Topics will include organic lawn and garden care, including specifics on dealing with the emerald ash borer. Both days include a variety of speakers, and you can find registration information here.

For information about upcoming workshops, contact Margaret Schneemann. For more information about Lawn to Lake in the Great Lakes visit www.lawntolake.org/Greatlakes. The program is funded through the U.S. EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.