The Scott Arboretum has published a brochure detailing the concept, practices and research behind the Organic Lawn Initiative. You can view it online at http://www.scottarboretum.org/publications/OrganicLawnBrochure2-11.pdf or pick up a copy from the brochure box at the organic lawn, installed just below the stairs of Magill Walk.
Four Swarthmore College biology majors are studying the biological diversity in our soil and the effects of our organic and conventional landscape maintenance practices on soil organisms. Such knowledge will improve our ability to maximize soil fertility and plant health by harnessing natural ecological processes. Organisms including fungi, bacteria, protozoa, nematodes, and earthworms are the key to organically improving the structure and chemistry of the soil– the life support system for plants. On April 6th, Elaine Ingham, Ph. D., — internationally respected soil microbiologist, Chief Scientist for the Rodale Institute, and President and Director of Research at Soil Foodweb Inc.– will spend the day at Swarthmore training students, as well as several of the College’s science faculty and horticultural staff, in the use of a light microscope to identify microbes and analyze the quality of soil, compost and other biological materials. We are thrilled to bring together such a diverse group of constituents to learn with and from one another.