Congratulations to Richard Johnson who was recently named the Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District 2015 Outstanding Educator!
Mr. Johnson, a fifth grade teacher at Longfellow Elementary School and long-time educator in the Portland School System, received the award from CCSWCD for “helping students learn about ecofriendly ways to do yardscaping and protect a local watershed.”
This award recognizes Johnson for a multi-year collaboration between him, fellow educators Laura Pratt and Patrick Connolly, the CCSWCD and several area businesses and organizations. The collaborative, two year effort included field trips, research projects, a youth yardscaping event and a student lead presentation at the annual Longfellow Spring Fair.
Great educational initiatives like this, and the teachers who inspire them, are laying the foundation upon which rests a cleaner, more sustainable future. Congratulations Richard, and thank you for helping establish the next generation of sustainable leaders!
The students focus on tips like these:
- Mow better. Set mower blades at 3″ for vigorous roots and to shade out weeds.
- Let the clippings lie. Clippings are a high quality, free fertilizer.
- Fertilize? Lawns older than 10 years need only clippings. Younger lawns need nitrogen. Look for 10–0–0 on the bag.
- Got weeds? Liberally apply perennial ryegrass seed all season long.
- Got bugs? Overseed with insect-resistant fescue grasses or use beneficial nematodes, fungi or bacteria.
- Water wisely. If needed, water once or twice a week with a deep soaking (1–1.5 inches).
For more information, please visit YardScape’s fact sheet page.
Our sustainability radar is always on, and we love to share. Do you have information about a great project helping to make Maine a more sustainable place to call home that you would like to see featured on NRCM’s blog? Guest posts and alerts about interesting sustainability stories are always welcome! If it is good news for our environment and involves Maine or Mainers, it belongs in the spotlight. Please contact Sarah Lakeman, NRCM Sustainable Maine Project Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or (207) 430-0170 or Ryan Parker, NRCM Environmental Policy Outreach Coordinator at email@example.com or (207) 430-0144.