Ohio Celebrates the Benefits of Turfgrass
Sunday, May 25, 2014
It’s where fathers and sons
play catch. It’s where mothers and daughters have their picnic tea party on a
spring afternoon. It’s the canvas on which memories are created. It’s
As families begin to prepare
for a summer of fun, thousands of individuals throughout the state are working
tirelessly to provide us with beautiful and safe green spaces to enjoy. In
fact, more than 40,000 Ohioans make their living in the turfgrass industry.
These professionals maintain
our lawns, parks, sports fields, golf courses, places of business and more!
They are highly trained and highly educated. Many have two-year or four-year
degrees in turfgrass science or a related field and some hold masters and
doctorate degrees. In order to stay current with the latest tools and practicesthey
attend continuing education classes on a regular basis.
Each year, during the last
week of May, Ohio celebrates Turfgrass Week. During this week, we officially
recognize these individuals and their dedication to their craft and also
celebrate the benefits of turf. In addition to providing a base for our
favorite activities, healthy turfgrass also plays an integral role in protecting
A recent Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) study investigating water quality issues in the
Chesapeake Bay concluded that healthy turfgrass helps reduce pollution and
runoff. Grass leaves and stems cover the soil and slow runoff to the point
where it has a chance to soak into the soil. In addition, healthy turfgrass
plants have deep roots which bind the soil in place, reducing soil erosion and
movement of nutrients.
Other benefits of turf
include cooling the environment, cleaning the air,
reducing glare and noise and also reducing allergens. Properly maintained
turfgrass can help control dust, pollen and other sources of irritating
allergies by minimizing the amount of weeds in an open space.
While many are just beginning
to understand and use words such as "green” and "sustainable,” industry
professionals have been living these ideals for decades. Turfgrass managers
strive to provide healthy turfgrass with reduced inputs and minimal
environmental impact. he products used to enhance growth and reduce pests are all
subject to years of extensive research and analysis prior to becoming available
for use. Before these tools are approved to be used on your lawn, on the golf
course or at the park, they must be proven to be safe for us, our kids and pets
as well as to the environment.
The turfgrass industry in
Ohio is alive and well! Maintaining the more than 4 million acres of turfgrass
in Ohio accounts for a total economic impact of $4.6 billion,
including $937 million in payroll, payroll taxes and contracted services. In addition to aesthetics, turfgrass enhances
property value by 7.5% and improves community pride.
For every school, soccer
field, golf course and green space that we spend time with our family and
friends, there’s a staff of trained professionals ensuring that these
spaces are well maintained and safe. Thank you to the Ohio General Assembly for
recognizing the environmental and economic benefits of turfgrass through the celebration
of Turfgrass Week.