Pollution – Who Wants It?

This seems like an easy question to answer – No one, right?  Well, this is probably true, but really, it’s more like some are anti-pollution and some are well…apathetic about it.  Right here, smack dab in the middle of Pollution Prevention Week aka P2 Week, my goal is to try to convince the folks who fall into the second category that not only is pollution bad, it’s also (drumroll here) preventable.


As a horticulturist and arborist, the actions that I focus on in terms of P2 are:

-Keeping fertilizers and pest control products on the target area instead of the street

-Raking fallen leaves and composting them or recycling them back to the lawn

-Maintaining a plant or mulch cover on all landscape surfaces, especially on slopes, to reduce stormwater runoff


-Aerating turfgrass to encourage infiltration of applied products rather than movement off site


-Application of water, fertilizer and pest control products at the right time

-Avoiding application of fertilizer and pest control products when the need is low and pests are few

-Auditing a sprinkler system to ensure uniform irrigation water application, watering only the turfgrass, not streets, posts or other objects.


All of these actions and more will go a long way towards reducing pollution in and from the landscape.

John Fech
Horticulture Extension Educator at Nebraska Extension
John Fech is a horticulturist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and certified arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture. The author of 2 books and over 200 popular and trade journal articles, he focuses his time on teaching effective landscape maintenance techniques, water conservation, diagnosing turf and ornamental problems and encouraging effective bilingual communication in the green industry. He works extensively with the media to extend the message of landscape sustainability, making over 100 television and radio appearances each year.
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