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Washington Waters  Ours to Protect

yard care Yard care - Guidance

Are fertilizers and pesticides part of the water quality problem in your area? Here are some tools and ideas that might help.

Tools to use

Need a poster about the problem with fertilizer and pesticide use? How about a flier or fact sheet? Download these and customize them to include your contact information. Print them back-to-back or separately.

Ideas for you

Posters and fact sheets can’t get the job done alone. Here are some more tips on how to promote watershed protection. Use messages that fit your audience. Highlight benefits and minimize barriers —offer products and services, promote messages in places people go and develop partnerships.

Some related messages
Reducing your use of fertilizers and pesticides

  • Keeps excess from running off and ending up as water pollution.
  • Improves the health and safety of your yard by making it natural for your children, pets.
  • Costs less.

Ways to get your message out

On products or services:

  • Weed puller to promote hand-pulling.
  • Kit with cheap and safer alternatives. Provide a sample kit to make your own safer garden.
  • Provide a garden-proof book with useful alternatives.
  • Garden gloves to promote hand pulling.
  • Offer a Master Gardener Q&A session.

In places people go

  • Garden stores.
  • Garden shows.
  • Hardware stores.
  • Big box stores.
  • Farmers market.
  • Extension offices’ plant and insect clinics.
  • Hazo house-chemical drop point.

Through media or message carriers

  • TV, radio, newspapers.
  • Website.
  • Tip card.
  • Shelf tags and end-cap displays.
  • Shelf talkers (e.g., “This product is safe for Puget Sound”).

With partners

  • Counties, cities, groups working on existing pledge projects.
  • Home and garden stores.
  • Environmental groups.

Motivating change

Use tools and methods that help people participate. These should help answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”

  • Rebates for bad stuff to get good stuff.
  • Yard sign promoting a natural yard and garden.
  • Coupon for good products (fertilizers, safer, weed puller).
  • Soil test kits.
  • Promote WSU Extension Service for their free advice about the proper use of lawn and garden products.

More resources

Natural Yard Care - Five steps to make your piece of the planet a healthier place to live

King County Department of Natural Resources

WSU Gardening in Washington State

Common Sense Gardening, WSU and Thurston County

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"Use Fertilizers Sparingly" Washington Water's public service announcement



Links to all the posters and factsheets for all three regional campaigns