Monday, March 20, 2017

World Wisdom: Tips from TurfMutt for World Water Day

March 22 is World Water Day, and environmental superhero and real-life rescue dog, TurfMutt, reminds families everywhere about water wise practices. Our yards, parks, schoolyards and other living landscapes offer benefits for nature and people. Living landscapes provide a host of health benefits, create important wildlife habitat and provide a safe place for our kids and pets to play.

This spring, TurfMutt and his Outdoor Power pal, Water Warrior, the aquatic avenger, have a special message for families: Water your lawns and landscapes wisely. As the California drought proved – nature is unpredictable. Like California, areas can go from record drought to record rainfall in a season.

World Water Day is celebrated each year to raise awareness of the importance of freshwater around the globe. We can do our part by sensibly managing grass, tree, shrubs and flowering plants that make up our living landscapes, especially around water usage.

California’s “drought experiment” was a lesson to us all that nature isn’t easy to regulate. Their governmental regulations forcing people to deaden their living landscapes, including programs to rip out grass, in an effort to save water don’t make sense. Instead, get smart about your living landscape choices so you can be water-wise no matter what nature throws your way.

Mission: Watering Wisely to Protect Living Landscapes
Here are Water Warrior’s water wise tips to keep in mind on World Water Day…and beyond.
       Follow the ‘Right Plant, Right Place’ Rule
First, choose plants that are best for your environment and climate zone. Hundreds of varieties of trees, shrubs, grasses and flowering plants exist, and some of them are perfect for drought conditions.
       Choose Breathing Plants Over Dead Materials
      They create the oxygen we need and sequester carbon. They also will capture and filter rainwater and hold soil in place.
       Let Grass Turn Brown
Remember, plants are smart! Plants go dormant during dry spells and come back when the rains return.
       Don’t Overwater
Plants and trees will go stronger and work harder, creating deeper, vertical roots, if they need to seek water.
       Water Deeply
When you do water, allow the moisture to reach the roots of the grass and provide water for trees. Also, water early in the morning before the hot sun can cause excess evaporation.
       Use Smart Technology
Take the guesswork out of how much and how often to water your living landscapes by installing soil moisture sensors and drip irrigation systems.
       Plant to Slow & Capture Water
Water sheets off hard surfaces, asphalt and other hardscapes in cities and suburbs. Grass, trees and plants will slow down and capture this moisture, helping recharge underground aquifers.  

TurfMutt and all his Outdoor Power superhero friends are on an environmental mission to teach kids, parents and teachers about taking care of landscaped spaces, starting with their own backyards. The Outdoor Powers battle the environmental villains, Dr. Runoff, Heat Freak, Dust Demon and Carbon Creep. Help battle drought by watering wisely.

To learn more about why living landscapes are important for our health and the environment, go to and

About TurfMutt
The TurfMutt environmental education and stewardship program was created by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute’s (OPEI) Research and Education Foundation and has reached more than 62 million children, educators and families since 2009. Through classroom materials developed with Scholastic, TurfMutt teaches students and teachers how to “save the planet, one yard at a time.” TurfMutt is an education resource at the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Green Apple, the Center for Green Schools, the Outdoors Alliance for Kids, the National Energy Education Development (NEED) project, Climate Change Live, Petfinder and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

About OPEI
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is an international trade association representing more than 100 power equipment, engine and utility vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. OPEI is the advocacy voice of the industry, and a recognized Standards Development Organization for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and active internationally through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in the development of safety and performance standards. OPEI is managing partner of GIE+EXPO, the industry’s annual international trade show, and the creative force behind the environmental education program, OPEI-Canada represents members on a host of issues, including recycling, emissions and other regulatory developments across the Canadian provinces. For more information, visit

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