LEAF-PRO stands for “Landscape Environmental Awareness Facility – Protection-Reduction-Outreach” and is an educational outreach effort designed to demonstrate and promote educated, ecologically responsible decision-making through home landscape practices.
The objectives of LEAF-PRO are:
1) PROTECTION OF OUR ENVIRONMENT
LEAF-PRO supports safe product utilization, wise decision making through integrated pest management principles, reduced use and need of pesticides, the proper disposal of horticultural chemical packaging and accurate application rates and target species identification.
As a means to practice responsible fertilizer use, we recommend having a soil test performed and utilized. Proper fertilizer applications will assist in non-point source pollution prevention from home landscapes.
Water conservation is encouraged by the utilization of sound landscape principles, plant selection and water harvesting methods.
2) REDUCTION OF SOLID WASTE
LEAF-PRO recommendations include:
- reuse of landscape waste by composting leaves and other plant materials
- use of mulches derived from composted plant material for weed prevention and moisture conservation
- recycling of used nursery container packaging
- recycling of household solid waste
- educational programs presented to youth in the community and various civic organizations
The LEAF-PRO project and Walker County Master Gardeners promote the use of newspapers as mulch and weed inhibitors, with the use of recycled materials in the landscape for improvement of access and aesthetic enjoyment.
3) OUTREACH EDUCATION
LEAF-PRO practices environmental awareness through education.
- community programs presented throughout the county by way of workshops, educational displays and local activities such as “Fair on the Square”.
- weekly articles in The Huntsville Item focusing on educating and informing the public
- periodic Public Service Announcements on KSAM Radio.
- practical demonstrations offered to local groups
- inform the public on landscape IPM (Integrated Pest Management)practices
- utilization of recycled horticultural supplies, landscape design and plant selection, greenhouse plant propagation methods and greenhouse IPM.
The Walker County Master Gardener LEAF-PRO project/program supports the Texas AgriLIFE Extension Service Earth Kind Environmental Stewardship Program. The guiding principles of this program is to promote a deep and abiding respect for the environment using the latest scientifically-sound research based information. These include:
- employment of Earth Kind techniques of plant selection
- avoiding pest problems before they occur
- use of pesticides only as a last resort.
If pesticide use becomes absolutely necessary, selection of the most Earth Kind or environmentally responsible product available should be utilized. Earth Kind techniques integrated into everyday practice will benefit families, communities, businesses and the environment.