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Alec McClennan will provide tips, tricks and long-term maintenance advice for caring for lawns and gardens organically.

Alec McClennan will provide tips, tricks and long-term maintenance advice for caring for lawns and gardens organically.

Photo courtesy of: Office of Sustainability

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Acclaimed organic lawn care and gardening professional to present at The Ridges on May 20

The Athens Soil and Water Conservation District, Community Food Initiatives and OHIO Office of Sustainability have partnered to assist local residents and professionals in their efforts to transition to organic lawns and gardens.

Two workshops will be held at The Ridges on May 20 with Alec McClennan, founder and owner of Good Nature Organic Lawn Care, who will provide tips, tricks and long-term maintenance advice for caring for lawns and gardens.

Good Nature Organic Lawn Care was established in 1999 and specializes in naturally-based, organic fertilization and weed control for lawns, trees and ponds on residential and commercial properties. The company offers organically-based lawn and tree care services centered on proprietary, feed-grade formulas and processes that require no chemical applications.

The first workshop held from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Ridges Building 21 Lobby is an Organic Lawn Care for Professionals Workshop that will focus on creating organic lawns for clients’ homes and businesses. Visitors will learn how to maintain their business or clients’ landscapes using 100 percent organic practices at a time when the sustainability movement is continuing to grow.

“He’ll talk about the methods and types of applications that can be made to control pests, eliminate the weeds you don’t want like crab grass, products that are considered organic, and will talk about the sustainable way to mow lawns,” said Teresa Caldwell, conservation education coordinator with the Athens Soil & Water Conservation District.

Attendees of the first workshop must RSVP to sustainability@ohio.edu for parking purposes. The workshop is free to all lawn and garden professionals. Coffee, iced tea and cookies will be provided.

The second free Residential Organic Lawn Care Workshop, held in the evening from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Ridges Building 21 Lobby, will teach local residents how to transform their yard into a thriving landscape using 100 percent organic practices. Doors for this workshop open at 5 p.m. with refreshments. McClennan will deliver a presentation, followed by Community Food Initiatives and the Athens Soil & Water Conservation District, which will discuss front yard gardening in compliance with Athens City code, and the 4R Tomorrow Program.

“The whole idea of the 4R Tomorrow Program is this idea of property land management, and how to use fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides so we don’t have these chemicals in the runoff polluting our water,” Caldwell explained. Although the program has traditionally been geared towards large farmers in a rural environment, she noted, the workshop will help bring the idea to an urban setting in Southeastern Ohio as well.

Both events are free and open to the public, and parking at The Ridges is free after 5 p.m.

For more information, visit www.ohio.edu/sustainability.