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Sod companies offer a grassroots donation


December 7, 2011
By Amanda Ryder

Dec. 7, 2011 – After five weeks playing host to Occupy
Toronto protesters, the lawn at Toronto's St. James Park suffered
severe damage. Landscape Ontario is partnering with the Nursery Sod Growers Association of Ontario, Project EverGreen and the community to restore some greenery in St. James Park with a new
lawn.

Dec. 7, 2011 – After five weeks playing host to Occupy
Toronto protesters, the lawn at Toronto's St. James Park suffered
severe damage, with the lawn trampled to death.

But local residents concerned about the condition of their communal
gathering space can be assured it will be brought back to life. Landscape Ontario is partnering with the Nursery Sod Growers Association of Ontario, Project EverGreen and the community to restore some greenery in St. James Park with a new
lawn. Turfgrass is an enormous environmental benefit that is so often
underestimated with its incredible ability to keep Toronto clean, green
and healthy.

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"There is a huge volunteer effort that will be happening here," says
Tony DiGiovanni, executive director of Landscape Ontario. "There will
be more than 10,000 rolls of sod and at least 23 dump trucks of soil
and an incredible number of people being very charitable."

Volunteers from member Landscape Ontario and Nursery Sod-Growers
Association firms will be on site Wednesday to begin preparation work,
but the noticeable difference will happen Thursday as an army of
volunteers lays the new sod to replace that which was damaged during
the Occupy Toronto protest.

Restoring the lawn at St. James Park is an effort on par with planting a
forest of trees when it comes to cleaning our air and creating the best
situation for a healthy environment.

"A green and healthy lawn is just as important as a tree," says Kyle
Tobin
, owner of LawnSavers Plant Health Care and a manager of the St. James Park project. "We have a unique
opportunity right now before winter to restore the lawn and take
advantage of ideal conditions. We will get in there and it will go from
brown to green immediately and flourish next spring."

A lush, green lawn is more than just pleasing to the eye. Did you know:

  • That 220 square feet of turfgrass produces enough oxygen for a family of
    four; that means restoring the turfgrass in St. James Park will produce
    enough clean air for 545 families;
  • North American Lawns store billions of tonnes of carbon, making
    turfgrass a leading contributor to offset carbon and reduce global
    warming;
  • The average front lawn has the cooling effect of 8.5 tonnes of air
    conditioning; Lawns will be 18°C (30°F) cooler than asphalt and 7°C
    (14°F) cooler than bare soil in the heat of summer.
  • Turf improves water quality by storing and filtering the water that
    would otherwise go into catch-basins and into the lake. 
  • A 10,000 square foot lawn will contain six grass plants per square inch,
    850 plants per square foot and 8.5 million plants total. Think of your
    lawn as a forest of grass plants.

Community members interested helping out with the transformation of St.
James are invited to come to the park on Thursday to support the
massive volunteer effort.

"When you consider the immense environmental benefits of turf, we are
going to make a huge impact with the revitalization of St. James Park,"
says Alan White, owner of Turf Systems Inc. and a manager of the St. James Park project. "A new lawn in the park
will have the equivalent impact of producing enough clean air for 2,180
people each day. It will help maintain a healthy temperature in our
environment and work to keep our air and water clean."


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