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Peabody takes the Natural Lawns for Healthy Soils Challenge

Date: Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Time: 10 am to 2 pm

West Peabody Post Office, 637 Lowell St, Peabody MA

Slow climate change with more carbon in soil, less CO2 in the atmosphere

Team Peabody will hold the Ocean River Institute’s Natural Lawn Care for Healthy Soils Challenge on Tuesday, August 10.

The initiative is designed to encourage people to participate in a friendly competition pledging to keep established lawns natural without the application of quick-release fertilizer and no chemical pesticides or herbicides. The Peabody Team is one of 23 teams, including Ipswich, Danvers and Middleton in the Ipswich River Watershed, striving to have the most households committed to maintaining natural grass. The winning towns are those with the greatest number of households pledging to maintain natural lawns without spreading quick release fertilizer or harmful pesticides and herbicides.

Residents can save money on lawn care while saving bees, worms, microbes, archaea, springtails, nematodes, rotifers, tardigrades, the full rhizosphere. Grass plants are fed by fungi and bacteria as part of the vast mycorrhizae network, called the wood wide web. 

Lawn grasses are the best plants at fighting climate change because of a second major carbon cycle, often overlooked, the deep drawdown of carbon into soil.  Following photosynthesis, grasses push out of their root tips carbohydrates, liquid carbon, to build soil — for every ton of root exudate, grasses pull out of the air four tons of carbon dioxide. A natural lawn can build an inch of soil in a year. For an acre of lawn, that means removing 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide withdrawn. With more than 2,000 square miles of residential lawns in Massachusetts, the institute says, there is much that can be done at home lawn by lawn and town by town to reverse climate change.

You may assist Team Peabody virtually by signing their pledge form and up their total of savvy signers. 

Or you may select a different green team