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Lawn Care and How It Affects Groundwater topic of program

February 6, 2007       Leave a Comment
By: Stephen Kent

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Visit, web site of the Rotary Club of Bay City, Michigan


  • Club Web Site: New features are being added regularly. Visit the site and pass along suggestions to Stephen Kent or Gena Gates:

  • Board Meeting Next week - February 13 at 11:00 at Lumber Barons'.

  • International Night Committee meets again February 27 at 11:00 am. The date for this year's event is October 11, 2007.

  • MSU President scheduled to speak February 27. If you have guests, please let us know in advance so we can plan enough seating and meals. Contrary to some reports, this is a regular meeting and is open to members and guests. It is not open to the general public.

  • Meeting Helpers for the next six months are being recruited. If you'd like to be the greeter, do 50/50 ticket sales, or take lunch money, please sign up at the table this week.

  • Rotary Youth Exchange Reminder: If you know of prospects, tell them to request information.

  • Community Grants committee is working on a funding focus for next year. Grant requests are taken for any worthy project, but preference is given to projects that reflect the focus. If you have ideas, please pass the word to the committee.

    Dee Dee Wacksman was presented with her Paul Harris Plus 1 pin. She said that her second level gift to the Rotary Foundation was in honor of her father who passed away last year.

    Connie Schweitzer announced that the GSE team received their preliminary list of countries to be visited in South Africa.

    A new member orientation will be held soon. All members are invited. For recent new members it's a good way to better understand the workings of Rotary and the Bay City club.

    Pinconning Club Update: Mike Stoner reported on the status of the Pinconning club. The new club will be sponsored by Bay City and Gladwin. The district must have at least 30 clubs to remain a district and that is the exact number now in District 6310. A club is forming in Frankenmuth now to bring the total to 31. Pinconning would be 32.

    Some 30 individuals have expressed interest in joining the Pinconning club. Presently the group is meeting every other Thursday at the Third Street Deli in Pinconning. Bay City members are encouraged to attend one of those meetings.

    The complete text of Mike's report is available on the Bay City Club web site under the downloads item in the members section.

    Upcoming Programs (See the official schedule at

  • Feb 13 Bay Regional Medical Center, Alice Gerard, President.

  • Feb 20 Girl Scouts, Kerry Allen, Director

  • Feb 27 Lou Anna Simon, President, Michigan State University

  • Mar 20 Vocational Day

  • Mar 27 Vocational Day

  • April 17 Dick Devos


  • Feb 6 Karolyn Karl, an AmeriCorps Member working with the Michigan Groundwater Stewardship Program through the Michigan Department of Agriculture, presented a PowerPoint program on the effects of lawn care on groundwater and ways to prevent pollution.

    Karl is responsible for Bay, Midland and Saginaw Counties with her primary focus in the urban areas on educating the public about ground water and how it can be affected. Funding for this program comes from fees collected through sales of nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides.

    Karl has a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from MSU and currently lives in Saginaw. She was a Rotary exchange student and her father is a Rotarian in the Sebewaing Club.

    With 40% of waste water feeding into the Great Lakes, the impact of fertilizer and pesticides used in farming and lawn care can have a significant impact. Lawn care is much more significant than many people would expect. Karl listed numerous practices that can help reduce the effect.

  • Before beginning a fertilizer program, have your lawn tested. A test by the MSU extension service costs about $12. You provide a small soil sample from a number of parts of your lawn then send it in. The resulting report will help you buy the right mix of fertilizer.

  • When buying fertilizer and pesticides, buy only what you can use. Excess product must be properly stored and too often is just discarded.

  • When mowing your lawn, cut only the top 1/3 of the leaves. It's best to have longer grass than shorter since the longer leaves will help choke out weeds. Don't mow in the middle of the summer. Grass does dormant in the hottest months and does not need mowing.

  • Pay attention to the labels on lawn care chemicals. This label constitutes a legal contract and make you, the user, responsible for any misuse of this potentially hazardous material.

  • When using lawn care services, pay attention to their work practices. Most are pretty good, but if they don't seem to be doing what you would expect, ask them why.

  • Just as farmers rotate their crops, the back yard gardener should rotate his crops. If you plant tomatoes one year, switch to another vegetable in that location next year. It will make for a better, more environmentally friendly garden.

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    Stephen Kent

    Steve Kent and his family have lived in Bay City for 40 years. He is VP of Technical Services at MMCC which produces MyBayCity.Com. Kent is active in many Bay City civic organizations.

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