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Monday, June 27, 2005

Students offer lawn advice

Students offer lawn advice

Jun 23, 2005

Lake Simcoe basin residents can make a difference to the health Lake Simcoe this summer.

A team of nine university students, called The Wave Patrol, are visiting homes around the lake for 10 weeks to offer friendly advice on phosphorus-free lawn and yard care.

Too much phosphorus, much of it from chemical lawn fertilizers, is contributing to the overgrowth of algae and weeds endangering the lake.

The students are part of The Wave, Healthy Yards, Healthy Waters, the first educational initiative of Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition, a non-profit group.

The project began in Keswick last summer and won a Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority award for excellence. It has endorsements from many communities including Georgina, King Township, Newmarket and the region.

More than $200 million is generated annually in Lake Simcoe-related tourism. Proponents said the health of the economy and vitality of recreational opportunities in the region are tied to the health of the lake.

The Wave focuses on methods for reducing phosphorus run-off, from wiser watering to using less lawn fertilizer.

"If people can only do one thing to help our rivers and Lake Simcoe, it is in the area of yard care," project co-ordinator Catherine Gilchrist said.

"Change starts with a ripple; if people take action in their homes, it sends a strong message to government and others that we all need to take action."

There is no fee for this service.

Support for The Wave comes from The Ladies of the Lake 2006 calendar project, Environment Canada Eco Action program, The Alliance for a Better Georgina, Town of Georgina, King Township, TD Friends of the Environment, South Lake Community Futures Program and The Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Network and Fund.

To get The Wave Patrol to visit your community, go to www.thewaveprogram.com, call 1-866-329-8688 or e-mail thewaveprogram@sympatico.ca

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