Love Em and Leave Em

By Susan Littlefield

It won't be too much longer before leaves begin to change color and fall in many parts of the country. Unfortunately, all that organic matter falling to earth is too often raked up and discarded, taking up valuable landfill space and wasting all the soil-building potential that decomposed leaves can provide.

That's where the Love 'Em and Leave 'Em campaign initiated by the Green Policy Task Force of Irvington, NY can help. They have put together a website that provides information on the technique of mulching in place as a way to help the environment while improving the soil and saving both time and money. Mulching in place simply means shredding leaves where they fall finely enough that the pieces sift down through the blades of grass on a lawn, breaking down over the winter and adding organic matter to the soil. There's even a short video entitled Leave Leaves Alone! that demonstrates how to mulch leaves in place with a mulching mower.

If you are interested in promoting mulching in place in your own community, the website provides an extensive toolkit of resource files that you can use, from sample promotional materials and Power Point presentations to municipal resolutions and bumper stickers. There are also sections with resource lists for backyard composting and vermicomposting with worms.

Now is a great time to plant ahead for fall by learning about this technique and to consider working to make it a community-wide effort in your municipality.

To find out more about the Love 'Em and Leave 'Em initiative, go to: LELE.

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