Greater Access to Clean Water, Greenspaces and Education: Building a Stronger Foundation for Healthy Communities
By Jim King, President, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation; Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, ScottsMiracle-Gro
As ScottsMiracle-Gro approaches its 150th anniversary in the coming year, it has been a time of reflection for us. While we look back at our heritage in the lawn and garden industry, we also contemplate the future and legacy of our business. How will we continue to care for our planet, nurture communities in need and inspire the next generation of youth to be their very best?
In this spirit, the Company recently announced the formation of a charitable foundation to advance sustainable solutions for pressing environmental and social issues. The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation helps communities around the country by working with partners to give greater access to gardens and greenspaces, clean water resources and education.
These initiatives are not entirely new for us. We have a proud history of philanthropy, and many of the programs the Foundation will support will complement those that the Company has had in place over the years. However, the formation of the Foundation is clear signal to our commitment to making a lasting impact the communities where we live and work.
In addition to our support of garden and greenspace development and youth education, one of the biggest issues our Foundation will support is improved water quality. Specifically, we are tackling the growing problem of water nutrient pollution particularly from excess nutrients in waterways.
One of the first major water quality programs will take place this year on World Water Day. The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and The Everglades Foundation will co-sponsor a national Impact and Innovation Water Summit in Florida on March 22, 2017. The Summit will address mutual concerns around water nutrient pollution and will mark a formal collaboration from both groups towards bold and lasting water protection. Summit participants – public and private sector representatives, academic experts and leading environmental organizations – will discuss this global economic and environmental issue, which threatens the health of countless freshwater bodies in all 50 states – costing the U.S. economy alone an estimated $2.2 billion annually.
The Foundation will also continue to drive forward the work set forth by our Water Positive Landscapes Initiative – namely, working with our national partner network of 13 environmental organizations that are on the front lines of water protection – through education and research to show how people can become “Water Positive” in their own backyards.
Our firm belief is that current and future generations deserve access to clean water resources, gardens and greenspaces, and the dream of a better life. Our work through the Foundation will help make this a reality.
Over the coming weeks and months, we will share more about the work of the Foundation and the people and programs it supports. In the meantime, I invite you to learn more about the Foundation and our initiatives here on the Foundation website.