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Dear  --FNAME----

Last week the Journal News published an article by Dr. Diane Lewis, chair of the Bedford 2020 Water and Land Use Task Force and author of The Great Healthy Yard Project. The piece is about the toxic green sludge we are seeing on the reservoirs because of the overuse of fertilizers on lawns and gardens in the area. We have a link to it below for you to read and Forward to a Friend.

Please take the Great Healthy Yard Pledge and make a commitment not to use toxic chemicals on your yard.  Visit our website for tips on organic lawn care and planting native plants to help keep your yard healthy and fertilizer/pesticide free.

Also, please see below for info on upcoming water and land events, including a volunteer opportunity Saturday to remove invasive Japanese Stiltgrass and the annual Native Plant Festival September 10-11.

Thanks for helping protect our land and water, and please Forward to a Friend!

-Bedford 2020 Water and Land Use Task Force

By Dr. Diane Lewis
Photo by Diane Lewis

I have never seen the New York City reservoirs near my home in Bedford covered in algae sludge the way they are this summer. The regional manager for New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection, Jim Keesler, confirmed that the thick, iridescent green sludge is likely blue green algae, but said none of the toxin is getting into our water supply in measurable amounts. Exposure to this toxin is now thought to cause serious neurologic degenerative diseases. We don’t want it in the New York City drinking water, and we can act now in our own yards to stem this problem.

This hot, dry summer has led to shallower, more stagnant water, making this situation worse. But unlike many of the complex problems dominating the headlines, this is something important that we can change. A small amount of blue-green algae occurs naturally, but blooms, or rampant growth, occur when there are too many nutrients in the water. One of the main causes of this is the fertilizers we use on our yards and gardens. Simply caring for our lawns and gardens without these chemicals is a cost-free way to protect our water quality and the health of our families. 
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AnchorNATIVE PLANT FESTIVAL September 10-11
Rosedale Nurseries51 Saw Mill River Road (Route 9A), Hawthorne

If you’re looking for new plants, why not try hardy, low-maintenance ones that are indigenous to the Northeast? Native plants are already acclimated to our conditions, and they’re more likely than exotic plants to provide the food and cover needed by birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Many are deer and disease resistant, and pollinator friendly.

A wide selection of native trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses and ferns will be available for purchase at the nursery, and personal shoppers and native plant experts will be on hand to offer advice for your yard and garden. Open 9-5:30, Tel: (914) 769-1300

A percentage of proceeds from the weekend will be donated to the nonprofit Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College in Valhalla.

FREE EDUCATIONAL TALKS by instructors from the Native Plant Center’s educational program, Go Native U, will be offered. Here’s the schedule:

Saturday, September 10

11am -- Great Native Plants for Pollinators by Kim Eierman
2pm  -- Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants by Jessica Schuler

Sunday, September 11

11am -- Selecting Native Trees for Your Garden by Guy Pardee
1pm -- Native Plants for Screening by Carolyn Summers
East Woods Preserve, Saturday, September 3, 9:45am-12:15pm

The Invasives Project-Pound Ridge (TIP-PR) is seeking volunteers on Saturday September 3, 2016 to help limit the spread of Japanese Stiltgrass in East Woods Preserve. 

1) Volunteers with weed whackers plus eye and ear protection and
2) Volunteers, who will pull the Stiltgrass out by hand.
The two groups will work at a safe distance apart, for a period of two hours.

Meet at the Town House parking lot (179 Westchester Avenue in Pound Ridge) on Saturday, September 3, at 9:45 am.

Pre-registration is not required, but is appreciated. To indicate your interest or for more information, contact: Carrie Sears 763-3219 or csears47@yahoo.com

Master Gardener Volunteer: Training Begins Sept 7
Wednesdays at 9:30AM - 4:30PM, Cornell Cooperative Extension Putnam County, 1 Geneva Road, Brewster, NY

Are you interested in native plants and pollinators? Could you have a vegetable stand with all the extra produce from your garden? Or are you just passionate about our environment and wish to help educate others? If you are nodding your head yes to one or all of these, sounds like you would make a great Master Gardener Volunteer! Click here for info.
Lewisboro Library, September 8, 7:15pm

Want to attract birds to your yard but don't know how? the Lewisboro Garden Club lecture by Michele MacKinnon, a UCONN Master Gardener, will teach you to identify plants to use, approaches for planting them, and which best-suited to attracting, feeding and sheltering birds all year long. Register at 875-9004 or
Bedford 2020, PO Box 812, Bedford Hills, NY 10507
Phone: 914 620 2411  |  Email: info@bedford2020.org​