Undoubtedly, one of the biggest mysteries in the garden world this week is why on earth did the National Wildlife Federation get into bed with Scotts Miracle-Gro?
On the surface, it looks like a harmless partnership. According to the press release, “the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and ScottsMiracle-Gro are announcing a new partnership to advance NWF’s nationwide Be Out There initiative to connect children with nature”. Sounds almost innocent, doesn’t it?
Ah, but dig a deeper, you know…through the Round-Up, dead insects and all the lawn chemicals (you’re wearing gloves, right?), and you’ll see this is one partnership that doesn’t quite add up.
Exhibit A – National Wildlife Federation
If ever there was a warm & fuzzy organization, NWF was it. Pictures of mischievous polar bears, salmon-snatching grizzly bears and graceful songbirds come to mind.
Many people, myself included, thought of NWF as a trusted resource that was, according to their own website,working to “ inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future. We work to restore the health of our natural habitats and ecosystems.”
Here are two NWF initiatives you’ve probably heard of, which now seem tainted, and would be almost comical when viewed though this new chemical-coated lens, if the stakes weren’t so desperately high.
♦ Certified Wildlife Habitat program where NWF has shown people the “benefits of gardening for wildlife”. Unless things have changed since my garden was certified, the use of chemicals, including those that NWF’s new ‘partner’ sells is prohibited.
♦ The Green Hour where NWF recommends parents give their kids a “Green Hour” every day, in a garden, a backyard, the park down the street, or any place that provides safe and accessible green spaces where children can learn and play. As a parent, I know way I define a safe play environment is one where the grass my kids run through and roll around on is chemical-free.
Exhibit 2 – Scotts Miracle-Gro
Here’s a company who’s ‘cash cow’ product lines are diametrically opposed to NWF’s corporate philosophy.
♦ ScottsMiracle-Gro is Monsanto’s exclusive agent for the marketing and distribution of Roundup. If you’re unfamiliar with the toxic effects of Roundup, read Round-Up is killing us.
♦ With their annual ‘steps’ lawn care program, Scotts has indoctrinated an entire generation of homeowners into thinking they NEED to treat their lawns with chemicals. Here’s a list of 10 Reasons to Ditch Your Lawn and Garden Chemicals.
♦ It’s working hard to bring GMO seeds right to your front lawn with it’s Roundup ready grass seeds.
Other Voices Raising Concerns
By no means am I the only blogger concerned about this partnership.
Here are links to posts on other blogs you may find interesting and enlightening. I suggest you check out the comments sections while you’re there. There are some interesting comments from employees of Scotts MiracleGro and NWF and the corporate line is fairly consistent across the board. In some cases, it appears the comments have been cut & pasted from blog to blog.
Baffled? Bewildered? Befuddled?
Well, join the growing crowd. If you’d like to voice your opinion, there are lots of options for getting involved.
First off, I’d suggest listening to Carole Sevilla Brown’s interview over at Beautiful Wildlife Gardens – David Mizejewski Defends National Wildlife Federation Partnership with Scotts Miracle Gro. David is the spokesperson for the National Wildlife Federation about this partnehsip with Scotts Miracle-Gro.
♦ Go to NWF’s facebook page (make sure you click the tab that says “Everyone” under the photo bar) and leave a comment. If you don’t want to start a new thread, feel free to comment on or ‘ like’ an existing comment.
♦ If you’re on Twitter, tweet your message to NWF. Just include @NWF in your message.
♦ Call NWF’s headquarters at 1-800-822-9919 . They are open M-F 8 a.m to 8 p.m. EST. (Note: I just called and the outgoing message says you can use option #1 to make a donation – who are they kidding??)
♦ Leave a comment on NWF’s website
♦ Join the discussion this afternoon (January 25). NWF’s president is hosting a video chat to answer people’s concerns about the partnership . Email your questions to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come on National Wildlife Federation, what’s next? It seems like this partnership with Scotts MiracleGro is the first step down a very slippery slope.
Should we expect to see bottles of Round-Up with the NWF logo and pictures of cute little birds on it? Or maybe Scott’s infamous ‘step program’ for lawn care gets expanded and the new bag has the NWF logo and the tag line…kills beneficial insects, too’.
Next time you’re thinking about partnering with a new sponsor, just ask yourself — WWRRD — What Would Ranger Rick Do?