Natural lawn care is an important way municipalities and landscapers can make an impact on water quality. An upcoming workshop will be held on Thursday, Oct. 13, at the College of Lake County to provide education and practical solutions that will reduce the impact of pesticides and fertilizers in our region. Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, Safer Pest Control Project, Liberty Prairie Conservancy, College of Lake County, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, and University of Illinois Extension will be presenting this workshop, which runs from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The Natural Lawn Care and Sustainable Landscapes Workshop is a program of Lawn to Lake, which is funded by a grant from the U.S. EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The three-year project aims to reduce the amount of toxins entering Great Lakes Basin waters.

“A natural lawn is a healthy lawn. A perfectly weed-free and green lawn should be a warning sign that it has been chemically treated. Using pesticides on your lawn is not a sustainable practice,” said Safer Pest Control Project Executive Director Rachel Rosenberg, who is also a speaker at the event.
The workshop is geared specifically to municipalities, professional landscapers, homeowner associations, and park district managers that manage lawns and landscapes.
“Not only can natural lawn care and sustainable landscaping benefit our water quality, but it can also open new markets for lawn and landscape companies and help municipalities save money while meeting sustainability initiatives,” said Margaret Schneemann, IISG water resource economist.
Some of the other topics that will be covered are: greening municipal ordinances, creating rain-friendly landscapes, what to look for in contracts, and more.
“These practices can save time and money. That is part of the reason why this is becoming a national and regional trend,” said Sarah Surroz, conservation and outreach manager for Liberty Prairie Conservancy. “People want to do the right thing, but they aren’t always sure what that is. This workshop will provide information and resources.”
The workshop costs $25 to attend, but College of Lake County students can come for free. The event will be held in Room C005 of the College of Lake County’s Workforce and Professional Developmental Institute, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake, Ill. 
For registration information, go to Liberty Prairie Conservancy’s website. For additional information, call Schneemann at 312-676-7556.