The cities of University Heights and South Euclid were selected by Stonyfield Yogurt Company (via Beyond Pesticides (Washington D.C) and Beyond Pesticides Ohio (Cleveland)) to participate in a program that trains city personnel in creating organic playing fields. The focus is on children's health and working with cities to establish model/pilot sites in their communities.
Stonyfield is gifting each city $20,000 worth of support. $5,000 in cash and $15,000 worth of training from organic turf care expert Chip Osborne, president of Osborne Organics in Massachusetts. The $5,000 will be used to purchase necessary equipment and supplies to implement the organic turf management program.
On September 4th the first organic training session was held in South Euclid. Presentation was given by Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides on why cities need to transition from the use of chemicals and toxic pesticides to a safer and more affordable organic approach. Attendees learned that you can have healthy and beautiful turf and playing fields without the use of chemicals that are harmful to people, pets and the environment. Chip Osborne gave specific examples how natural turf management creates superior soil biology and also prevents weeds and insect problems.
Jay and Chip also lead attendees on walks at South Euclid (Bexley Park) and a Cleveland Heights-University Heights school ground playing field (Gerrity School). Beyond Pesticide Ohio executive director Barry Zucker also participated.
Soil samples were collected at each site to evaluate soil biology. The results will be incorporated into comprehensive written plans that will be presented to each city in mid January.
Chip will conduct Q&A sessions with cities to help them understand and implement the plan by Spring 2020. Chip will be available by phone and Skype and occasionally in person for the next two years to provide oversight.
Stonyfield is interested in specific community success, and also broad education of the value of adopting organic land management
Including the public health and environmental benefits.
For moreinformation on the Stonyfield project please visit the link below and see which other cities nationwide have been chosen for the project:
For more information on the achievements of Beyond Pesticides and Beyond Pesticides Ohio please visit:
Beyond Pesticides Ohio