Meet our Healthy Lawns spokesgnome, Frederick Lawn Gnomested
The perpetually positive 4’ tall Gnomested joined the Erie County Department of Environment & Planning earlier this year and was the subject of a popular naming contest conducted by the Department that ultimately produced over 500 name suggestions from residents. The gnome’s mission to promote healthy lawns factored into the naming selection. The winning moniker was suggested by three entrants: Karen Leeds, Zoe Powers, and Janice Steinborn, each of whom will get a visit & photo with Freddie.
Follow Freddie on Instagram to find out where you can meet him! @freddiethegnome
Make your Lawn a Safe Home for the Gnomes!
To help make the Western New York community healthier, in 2017 the Erie County Environmental Management Council with assistance from the Cornell Cooperative Extension began a “Safe Home for The Gnomes” campaign to reduce the amount of chemicals used on area lawns. "Home for the Gnomes" name and graphics were created by Daemen College Graphic Design students - Jonathan Hutchison, Angela Marini, Violet Lent, Emily Metzger, and Matthew Tanner under the direction of Professor Kevin Kegler.
Take the pesticide-free pledge and receive a free lawn sign!
Receive a FREE lawn sign when you pledge to protect your family, pets, wildlife and waterbodies by having a pesticide-free lawn or eliminating use of pesticides on your lawn, and making your lawn a pesticide-free safe home for the Gnomes.
Overuse and misuse of garden chemicals can be harmful to humans, pets, wildlife and waterbodies. Collectively, residents control about 900,000 acres of lawn in New York alone - 75% of the managed turf in the state. The good news is there are many ways to care for your lawn that avoid putting family and neighbors at risk. Pledge to eliminate pesticides in your lawn including insecticides, herbicides (weed-killers, “weed and feed”), fungicides and other chemical pesticides and receive a free lawn sign to let your neighbors know that your lawn is healthy and safe.
Below are resources on how to reduce pesticide use. Thank you for your interest in reducing the use of pesticides!
WNY Guide to Native Plants for your Garden by Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, which includes descriptions of native plants by habitat with planting plans.
- Lawn Care is a 47-page booklet pdf by Lori J. Brewer available on the Cornell Turf Grass website that includes chapters on steps to success, advanced care, starting a new lawn, and lawn care.
- Cornell Turfgrass Program webpage with information on healthy lawns.
- The NYS Integrated Pest Management offers a how to guide for lawn care without harmful pesticides.
- Have a Beautiful Yard without the Chemicals - This NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation page offers tips and resources for having a chemical free yard.
- Using Native Landscaping
- Legal Issues Concerning Lawn Fertilizer (1/2012) This NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation page explains new regulations regarding phosphorus-containing fertilizer and runoff. The new law will improve water quality in drinking water supplies, as well as improving recreation and tourism in waterbodies negatively affected by excessive amounts of phosphorus.
- EPA website for lawn and yard care
- Beyond Pesticides website
Thank you to the Cornell Cooperative Extension for putting together these resources, and supporting the Healthy Lawns initiative!
For questions or comments, please contact the Erie County branch of the Cornell Cooperative Extension.