WASHINGTON, D.C. – If you plan a trip before the end of 2017, make a point to visit the U.S. National Arboretum here and check out the impressive display focusing on turfgrass. The Grass Roots Initiative is being featured at the Arboretum through 2017.

The Grass Roots is a cooperative initiative of the U.S. National Arboreum, USDA-ARS and The National Turfgrass Federation, Inc. Major sponsors include The Oregon Seed Council, Agrium Advanced Technologies, Servicemaster, TruGreen, Irrigation Association,The Fertilizer Institute, GCSAA, OPEI, DowAgroSciences, Texas Turfgrass Association, PLANET, Project Evergreen, Maryland Turfgrass Association and Atlantic Seed Association.

Turfgrasses impact Americans in many ways on a daily basis. Millions of acres of turfgrass on home lawns, golf courses, commercial landscapes, roadsides, parks, athletic fields, and sod farms improve our quality of life by providing open space, recreational and business opportunities, enhanced property values, and the conservation of important natural resources.

However, there are growing concerns about the use of water, fertilizer, pesticides, fossil fuels and machinery on turf establishment and maintenance. In addition, many Americans are uninformed or misinformed about the benefits of turfgrass to society and the environment. The National Arboretum’s Grass Roots Initiative is a 4-year program focused on the science behind turfgrass.

What are the goals of Grass Roots?

* Increase awareness of the importance of turfgrass and lawns to society and the environment
* Demonstrate new technologies within the turfgrass industry that improve maintenance practices and efficiencies
* Review and update national research priorities for turfgrass .    Bring together policymakers and others interested in regulatory issues that impact
the turfgrass industry

What You Will See at Grass Roots

The U.S. National Arboretum created an outdoor exhibit; add in-depth, scientifically vetted content to its web site; and conduct symposia, workshops, and demonstrations on various aspects of turfgrass and lawns. Some potential programs include:

* Symposia on turfgrass sustainability and resource efficiency.
* Workshops on urban landscapes and their role in societal and environmental
enhancement .  
* Public policy forums on the use of fertilizer in urban settings and impact on
watersheds and groundwater .
* A review and update on the National Turfgrass Research Initiative.
* Demonstrations organized and conducted by industry groups (proper irrigation
practices, fertilizer use, basic mowing and maintenance practices, and new technologies)

Follow Grass Roots on Facebook and Twitter! www.facebook.com/NTFGrassRootsInitiative and Twitter @Grass_Roots_NTFPartners and Supporters of Grass Roots