Where Our Roots Are
Just as we are a leader in the lawn and garden industry, we strive to be leaders in the communities we live and work in. Our company has added value to numerous community-based initiatives across North America and Europe. Our associates directly engage in community improvement projects.
Through it all, stakeholder feedback and insight helps guide our involvement, to ensure we are adding the most value possible.
Give Back to Gro
Our community engagement activities focus on enhancing the environment through the support of public green spaces and gardens. We are also committed to helping underserved youth by providing educational opportunities that promote self-reliance. Finally, we support health and wellness initiatives as part of our corporate culture.
Whether it is a financial or product contribution, associate time and energy, or simply lending our scientific and marketing expertise to a project, we continually seek out ways to have a positive impact in the lives of our neighbors.
We are supporting the creation of more than 1,000 community gardens and green spaces in the markets we serve. We’re finding neighborhoods in need of green spaces, schools in need of places to play, and communities in need of beautification and revitalization. Wherever they are, GRO1000 is too.
Associates are heavily involved in the neighborhoods where they live and work, which has created a culture of community service at the company. This culture stems from Horace Hagedorn, the founder of Miracle-Gro, and his conviction that, “You can’t keep taking away from the earth. You must give something back.”
The Give Back To Gro Associate Community Service Program provides eligible associates two paid days off a year to volunteer their time with local non-profit organizations. The program encourages associates to engage in their local communities and to serve as goodwill ambassadors for the company. The Associate Volunteer Council, comprised of associate volunteers across the company who have a strong passion for community service, coordinate meaningful volunteer experiences for fellow associates each year.
Work We Support
Environment: Like all living things, plants need water, nutrients, and some care in order to grow and thrive. As water scarcity grows in certain regions, and as activities on land increasingly affect the quality of our waterways, we will continue to focus our efforts on water issues.
- Environmental Research: We have provided a grant to fund independent research conducted by the Ocean Research & Conservation Association (ORCA) focused on Florida’s Indian River Lagoon which has been plagued by harmful algae blooms. The research will map point and non-point sources of nutrients flowing into the Lagoon to help focus public and private investments on the highest priority actions that might improve and protect water and wildlife in the lagoon.
- Environmental Restoration & Education: For the third straight year, we will support a unique environmental restoration program that Tampa Bay Watch has established with Tampa-area middle and high schools, called Bay Grasses and Classes. In the program, students will tend native plant nurseries on school grounds and transfer the plants they grow to designated restoration sites within the Tampa Bay estuary. The restoration plantings help clean the Bay by filtering nutrients, while the students learn real-world environmental and agronomic education principles that will help them become the next generation of stewards for Florida’s waterways.
Youth Education: Too often children in urban areas do not have access to green spaces where they can experience biology, chemistry, ecology and other natural science lessons first-hand. As importantly, children in underserved communities are not always exposed to potential careers in these fields, and are missing opportunities to excel in professional fields because they simply are not aware that they exist. We seek out programs to support that are changing these dynamics.
- U.S. Botanic Garden’s National Garden: ScottsMiracle-Gro and the National Garden have created the Hands On Plant Science (HOPS) program, that brings students from the Washington, D.C. public school system to the U.S. Botanic Garden for horticulture and plant science classes that our associates teach throughout the summer months.
- Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens: Our long-standing partnership with the Conservatory has focused on community garden education, development and access. Columbus, Ohio public school students are regularly participating in classes and events at the four-acre ScottsMiracle-Gro Community Garden Campus, which serves as a national center for community gardening education and practices. In addition to teaching the “how-to’s” of starting and maintaining a community garden, the Conservatory hosts specialized classes at the Campus such as culinary trainings on how to creatively cook the fruits and vegetables grown in a garden.
Health and Wellness: For many years, our company has emphasized personal health initiatives for our associates. In 2005, our decision to move towards a tobacco-free workforce was controversial. Today, it is commonplace. Through our support of cessation programs, tobacco use among our associates has decreased from 28% to only 6% of our associates, which has undoubtedly improved the health and extended the life of our associates. We continue to support initiatives that can help our associates improve their health, and raise funds for medical research and treatment at the same time.
- American Heart Association (AHA): The AHA’s Heart Walk raises awareness and funding for heart disease research and prevention, while enabling thousands of participants an opportunity to participate in a heart-healthy walk. For the past six years, we have received AHA’s Fit Friendly Platinum-Status for our focus on associate wellness, and we have routinely been a leader in fundraising support for the Central Ohio Heart Walk. In fact, one of our associates led the entire region in fundraising for the 2015 event, putting together over $100,000 in contributions!
- Pelotonia/The James Cancer Center at Ohio State University: An annual bicycle riding event dedicated to raising cancer research funding, Pelotonia enables participants to improve their health through the event itself (choice of 25, 50, 75, and 100 mile routes) and the associated training for the event. While our company has directly supported the event, perhaps more importantly, we offer a dollar-for-dollar fundraising match to our associates who choose to ride. This has lowered the fundraising threshold for our associates to participate, growing our “Peloton” to over 100 associates annually.