|Green Lawns Are Environmental Friends
Dear Bay Weekly:
I would like to respond to Jerry Baltman's letter "Trading the Bay for Green Lawns" [Vol. VIII. No. 41: Oct. 12-18].
As an agronomist, president of a local lawn care company and past president of the Maryland Turfgrass Council, I would like to refute some fallacies and note the many benefits of a thick stand of turf.
Many homeowners may have the philosophy that "more is better," but professionals in the turfgrass industry know that overfertilizing causes problems for the plant as well as increasing the potential for runoff. There is no benefit for a professional lawn service to apply more fertilizer or other control products than necessary. These materials are expensive and we are in business, hopefully, to make some profit.
Regarding Mr. Baltman's concerns about runoff into the Bay, properly applied fertilizers and control products do not run off of turf. Years of university data from all over the country substantiate this claim. Have you ever seen a lawn that a homeowner fertilized and that striped? If the fertilizer ran off, you wouldn't have those nice straight lines where fertilizer wasn't applied.
Thick, healthy turf not only stops runoff, it helps control erosion and abate noise. Turfgrass plants generate oxygen. A 2,500-square-foot lawn generates enough oxygen for a family of four every day. Turfgrass absorbs pollutants and cools the environment. Stand on your driveway or on bare soil on a 100-degree day in your bare feet. Then move over to your nice green lawn. The temperature may be up to 30 degrees cooler. Eight healthy front lawns have the cooling effect of 70 tons of air conditioning - enough for 16 average homes.
In conclusion, be assured that properly trained turfgrass professionals work very hard to protect the Bay and the environment. I would recommend that homeowners follow label instructions when applying these materials. By doing so, we can achieve the benefits of turfgrass without any of the negatives.
-Mark I. Schlossberg, President
Pro-Lawn-Plus, Inc., Baltimore
Common Sense' Lacks Common Courage
Dear Bay Weekly:
I recently received a letter dated October 27 extolling the service of Anne Arundel County Executive Janet Owens and signed "Common Sense." So did my wife, and I assume thousands of other South Countians did as well.
Who/what is "Common Sense?" Is s/he/it actually so ashamed of or embarrassed by the message of this missive as to choose not to give us her/his/its name? No return address. Whatever happened to Common Courtesy - or Common Courage?
I am glad if Janet Owens has done all the good things for South County that "Common Sense" claims. But on the Safeway issue, I think she is selling out her South County heritage and supporters and guaranteeing us a Bad Deale when she doesn't speak and work against it.
And I sign my name.
-Chris May, Deale
Dept. of Corrections
Longtime Washington reporter and CNN producer Fran Lewine's name was misspelled in last week's Bay Weekly Interview: "Donnie Radcliffe: Chronicler of First Ladies" [Vol. VIII No. 44: November 2-9]. We apologize for the offending v.