Monday, May 20, 2024

Practice being a “Master Backyarder” this Earth Day


ALEXANDRA, VIRGINIA – The TurfMutt Foundation, which advocates for the care and use of our backyards, community parks, and other green spaces, says Earth Day (April 22) is the perfect time to practice being a master backyarder. “Backyarding” is the act of taking activities that we normally do inside, out to our yards and parks. Master backyarders elevate back yarding, using their personal and community green space for everything from working and exercising to entertaining and relaxing. 
 “Master backyarders also understand the benefits of our yards and other community green spaces to the environment,” explains Kris Kiser, president, and CEO of the TurfMutt Foundation. “Every day is Earth Day for master backyarders. They plant for pollinators, know to put the right plant in the right place, and recognize their backyard as an important part of the connected ecosystem.”
 This year, the TurfMutt Foundation encourages everyone to use Earth Day as an opportunity to practice being a master backyarder. Here are a few ways to do just that: 
· Remember the “Golden Rule” of Backyarding: Right plant, right place. Putting the right plant in the right place is the key to successful master backyarding. It goes beyond identifying plants that will do better in sun versus shade. Master backyarders select plants that will thrive in their climate zone and work to create a backyard that supports their family’s lifestyle. To learn more about selecting the right plants for your yard, refer to the USDA’s Plant Hardiness Zone Map
· Plant with pollinators in mind. Master backyarders understand that our yards and community parks are an important part of the connected ecosystem, providing food and shelter for pollinators. They plant with birds, bees, butterflies, bats, and other creatures in mind. 
· Water wisely. After getting their new plants started, master backyarders only water when necessary. They install watering solutions – like smart controllers on irrigation systems – to help use water efficiently while maintaining a living landscape. They remember that over-watered grass gets lazy, growing roots in a horizontal pattern. But with less water, grass sends its roots deeper – vertically – seeking water. By working harder, grass does a better job performing its environmental superpowers like sequestering carbon and releasing oxygen.
· Bone up on backyard benefits. Master backyarders are tuned into the many benefits of spending time in backyards and community parks, and they use the outdoors for all sorts of activities like dining, entertaining, working and even vacationing. For humans, back yarding benefits include lower stress, increased happiness, and improved memory. For the health of the planet, green space captures carbon, produces oxygen, and prevents runoff. 
· Watch Lucky Dog on CBS for inspiration. Master backyarders aren’t too proud to take their back yarding cues from their furry friends. Afterall, no one loves and appreciates yards and green spaces more than dogs. On Earth Day, the TurfMutt Foundation will be featured on the CBS show Lucky Dog. This episode highlights the Mulligan’s Mutt Madness pet adoption event at Equip Exposition, which helps rescue dogs find forever homes. Watch Lucky Dog on Earth Day to get inspired to create the yard of your – and your dog’s – dreams. 
For more information, sign up for Mutt Mail, a monthly e-newsletter with backyarding tips and all the news from the TurfMutt Foundation here. To learn more about creating the yard of your dreams, visit Look for Mulligan the TurfMutt on Lucky Dog. link https://www. Download the International Back yarding Fact Book, to learn why spending time in our yards and community parks is good for us and the planet.
About the TurfMutt Foundation
TurfMutt was created by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute’s (OPEI) TurfMutt Foundation and has reached more than 70 million children, educators and families since 2009. Championed by Foundation spokesdog, Mulligan the TurfMutt, and through education partners such as Weekly Reader, Discovery Education and Scholastic, TurfMutt has taught students and teachers how to “save the planet, one yard at a time.” Today, TurfMutt is an official USGBC® Education Partner and part of their global LEARNING LAB. TurfMutt has been an education resource at the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Green Apple, the Center for Green Schools, the Outdoors Alliance for Kids, the National Energy Education Development (NEED) project, Climate Change Live, Petfinder and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 2017, the TurfMutt animated video series won the coveted Cynopsis Kids Imagination Award for Best Interstitial Series. TurfMutt’s personal, home habitat was featured in the 2017-2020 Wildlife Habitat Council calendars. More information at contacts: 
Ami Neiberger, Four Leaf PR on behalf of OPEI, 703-887-4877,
Debbi Mayster, Four Leaf PR on behalf of OPEI, 240-988-6243,


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