Uncategorized

Be Part of the Nat’l Wildlife Federation’s
Gardening Focus Group

Nwf380

The National Wildlife Federation wants to know what we think of some companies they're considering as "corporate partners."  So let's tell 'em!  Respond in a comment here and I'll forward the link – or email the address below.  Here's the letter I received from the NWF:

Dear Susan:
National Wildlife Federation has been branching out to look for corporate
partners that can support our mission and direction and help us to increase
awareness for our programs – especially to engage individuals – young or ageless
- with nature.  We know that corporate relationship can be "tricky"

One
of the areas we are exploring is in the area of lawn and garden care
companies.
We would like your thoughts on the following
questions:

1) Do you use any of the following types of lawn care and
garden brands?

Gordon's
Garden
Tech/Sevin
Spectracide
Ortho
Scott's
Miracle
Gro
Ground Work
Faithful Farms
Other?

2) What is
your opinion on NWF potential entering into a relationship with a company like
Scotts/Miracle Gro?

3) Do you have any specific comments on specific
Scotts/Miracle Gro?

Please send your thought by Friday, May 15th if
you can. Thanks

NWF's mission is to inspire Americans to protect
wildlife for our children's future.

Eliza Russell
Director of
Education
703-438-6439
ambassadors@nwf.org

Posted by on May 16, 2009 at 4:03 am, in the category Uncategorized.
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28 Responses to “Be Part of the Nat’l Wildlife Federation’s
Gardening Focus Group”

  1. I have been a part of the NWF Backyard Wildlife Habitat program for 10 years. Not bothered by the Miracle Gro but would be concerned that those interested in bees and butterflies would see this as a green light for pesticides.

  2. Rosella says:

    I don’t use any of the above with the exception of MiracleGro — I have used it in the past, before my conversion to all-natural. Now I use kelp, fish emulsion, poultry manure sold under a couple of brands such as Black Hen and CockadoodleDoo, compost and leaf mould.

    MiracleGro is only one Scott’s product, isn’t it? They also produce a lot of lawn stuff, including fertilizers with weedkillers added and so on. Doesn’t seem like a good fit for the NWF. I don’t recognize some of the others such as Faithful Farms and Gordon’s.

  3. Earth Girl says:

    I use Miracle Grow in my flower containers early in the season, but other than that I only use compost on both my ornamentals and vegetables. This is true at work and at home.

  4. Ortho, Scott’s and Miracle-Gro are name brands of a single company – Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE: SMG). Their home page prominently lists these brand names along with Osmocote, Smith & Hawken, and Roundup. But Roundup is a Monsanto product. Is SMG actually owned by Monsanto?

    NWF should not be in bed with these companies.

  5. Anne (in Reno) says:

    I agree with Squirrelgardens – I’d rather see them working with someone a little less pesticide-friendly.

  6. Town Mouse says:

    I don’t use any of the products and I can’t fathom why the national WILDLIFE foundation is even considering a partnership. It’s WILDlife. Please.
    I actually had so much trouble with their website when I tried to get certified (forgot one item and lost all my date) that I ended up not doing it. Now I’m starting to think that was a blessing in disguise idea…

  7. Elizabeth Stump says:

    Hmm, Scott’s and Ortho becoming corporate partners with the NWF? The NWF is interested in the welfare and health of our wildlife, right? Then why would the NWF partner with companies that produce pesticides that actually endanger insects (bees, butterflies, beneficial insects and pests)?

    What is the likelihood that should these companies become corporate partners with the NWF that they might “encourage” the NWF to not publish reports about how pesticides will harm beneficial insects in people’s backyards? Or what if there was a study about one of Ortho’s products (or an ingredient in one of Orhto’s products) that showed how it may affect animals or insects that migrate through people’s backyards and affect reproduction cycles? What is the likelihood that that study may be “discouraged” from being published because it is against the interest of one of the corporate partners? Pretty darn high!

    Call me paranoid, but how many times have we found out about studies suppressed because someone with a financial interest or “partnership” put pressure to subdue it? I am not against corporations, but I am against non-profit and government organizations to be in bed with corporations, which leads to problems. I have just as much issue with the government telling the car companies how to run their business and health insurance companies telling government how to shape healthcare policy. It’s a slippery slope to bad decisions that take years or decades to undo.

  8. diana says:

    Not a good idea – they have different agendas. Or have pesticides suddenly become beneficial to wildlife/insects?

    Be Very Careful whose bed you climb into.

  9. Janis says:

    Well, shoot, they wanted a response yesterday, so I don’t really know if our replies will be considered by the NWF. BUT the main issue for me is that they even felt the need to ASK if a corporate relationship such as they describe would be viewed favorably by their supporters. This has really soured my opinion of NWF.

    NWF is headquartered in northern Virginia. If they even paid attention to what is happening in their own back yard, they would know that the major sources of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay are excess nitrogen and phosphorus.

  10. susan harris says:

    Janis, that was my reaction. I’d think the best way to decide would be to review the scientific evidence about these products, not focus-group the public reaction to them.
    And I wouldn’t worry about the comments not getting to them yesterday – I just received the email 3 days ago, so I assume Monday will be fine..

  11. Plantanista (Maureen D) says:

    NWF will lose all credibility with Scott’s. But I don’t think they care.

  12. Karl Katzke says:

    1) Do you use any of the following types of lawn care and garden brands?

    Ortho – They have a professional grade soy-based ant fire ant bait that I use, but can only find at farm co-ops. No consumer products, though.
    Other:
    - BTN (Back To Nature)
    - Green Light

    2) What is your opinion on NWF potential entering into a relationship with a company like Scotts/Miracle Gro?

    The NWF should have no relationship with companies that actively and aggressively damage wildlife habitats by selling products that encourage overfertilization, which is the primary cause of the destruction of most of America’s wetlands and offshore wildlife. The NWF should have no relationship with companies that encourage overuse of long-acting broad-spectrum pesticides that are cutting swaths through the insect populations that form the foundations of the ecology in our country.

    3) Do you have any specific comments on specific Scotts/Miracle Gro?

    They actively mislead consumers at every opportunity and sell the consumers chemicals that reduce the long-term health of their gardens, land, and families.

  13. Susie says:

    Janis I agree with you….I don’t know about Chesapeake Bay…being from the west coast….but thought most waterways struggled with the same problems….not a goos partnership.

  14. Tamra says:

    Garden Tech/Sevin
    Spectracide
    Ortho
    Scott’s
    Miracle Gro

    These are all chemical companies, right? What is NWF thinking? This will really confuse people. I know so many people who use Miracle grow and thinks it is organic. If NWF partners with them then even more people will be confused. This is a really bad idea.

  15. Plantanista (Maureen D) says:

    Yikes, I realized my comment was incomprehensible. Too much time in the sun today…

    I meant to say that NWF will lose all credibility if they get into a financial arrangement with Scott’s, et al. They will become pawns in a greenwashing scheme that probably has more tentacles than just this boneheaded idea.

    It’s somewhat surprising that the NWF would even go this far down the road with this idea. I wonder what’s going on with their Board of Directors, or if they even know about this…

  16. firefly says:

    From the NWF Site:

    “Cause Marketing At Work – Eighty-seven percent of consumers are likely to switch from one brand to another that is about the same in price and quality, if the other brand is associated with a cause, according to the 2007 Cone Agency Cause Evolution Survey.”

    So Scott’s associates with the NWF and donates a percentage of sales to it as a “cause,” the NWF gets lots of money, and Scott’s gets an edge in the marketplace … ?

    Yeah, great.

    The whole emphasis on “protecting wildlife for our children’s future” is creepy to me anyway.

    I’m more inclined to protect wildlife because it’s the right thing to do, not because it is associated with soppy phrases like “for the children.”

    I could never spare the money to complete the certification program (plants came first) and now I’m glad I didn’t.

  17. Val says:

    Bit late for an April Fools joke, isn’t it?

    In all seriousness, I’m not dogmatically organic as a gardener and use Miracle-Gro on occasion. But I would NEVER donate money to a “nature” non-profit that’s got its name tangled up with a pesticide/fertilizer company.

    Don’t do it.

  18. Old Kim says:

    Green Light products are trust worthy so far. Scotts and Miracle Grow have money grubbing junkies
    as CEO’s.

  19. I made the effort to certify my yard as habitat several years ago and encouraged others to do so as well. http://www.sky-bolt.com/backyardhabitat.htm I did not mind paying for a year’s NWF membership or for the sign that I’ve posted to let my neighbors know what we were doing with our front meadow area.

    But NWF is sneaky about not telling you up front that they’ll be charging for the privilege of certification. I know of folks who were offended by this practice of the last minute fee after doing all the work and answering all their questions that they abandoned the process. With more than 100,000 certified habitats, do they really need more money?? I’d advise them to skip these sponsors.

  20. Barbara says:

    Please don’t. The Certified Wildlife Habitat program truly stands for something. I give their handouts at talks (today) and book signings – B&N on Saturday. DON’T DO IT!

    Unless it is organic, NWF must say no. I will not work with clients who use Miracle-Gro…it just goes against what I stand for and who I am. As a Certified Naturally Grown nursery I would never put chemical on our property!

    Their CONSIDERATION of these alliances is very upsetting.

  21. Angie says:

    I don’t use any of these products at all. If I use anything it comes from Gardens Alive and even that is super rare for me. I’m a certified backyard habitat with both NWF and Maryland’s Green Acres program and I choose to not use any sort of chemicals in my lawn or gardens!

  22. emily says:

    I don’t use any of these products either. I am appalled that NWF would even consider this.

  23. Katie says:

    I sent them a nice note yesterday. It was actually nice, I’m not being sarcastic, but I did tell them that, in no uncertain terms, it was a complete mistake to align themselves with synthetic chemical producing polluting companies if their mission is to protect wildlife. Not only will their image be ruined, however, their nonprofit status could be, as well, for “partnering” with a corporation that is so at odds with their stated mission.

  24. momz says:

    Forget corporate partnerships with Scott, Miracle Grow, Ortho,and the unnatural conglomerates. The difference then between NWF’s message and corporate’s message becomes blurred and intermingled. Can not tell the difference between the two and therefore if I don’t like or will not use products like Ortho et al I will automatically associate NWF with these products and not associate with NWF as a result. The partnership subjects a sell out. And in this case NWF selling out to Corporate America for one reason and one reason only, money. Now the integrity of NWF is compromised. I don’t think making a profit is in the mission statement of NWF. It is in the mission Statement of Corporate America. You can spin this partnership any way you like but it is not going to change the truth of the matter and that is NWF is not the same organization it was before the partnership and for me that is a problem. I will now think your motivations for all your programs is based in making a profit and not in helping the environment or the wildlife. Sorry if that is not what you wanted to hear but that is how I feel.

    I have been a member for 3 years and promoted wildlife habitate certification very strongly in my community. Too bad. But that will all change now.

  25. Linda says:

    If NWF does this, they lose whatever credibility they have as ecological advocates. It’s one thing to report that Product X has worked well for them in the field and that data gathered from independent and systematic monitoring over time shows it had no detrimental ecological impact. It’s quite another to stake your organization’s name and reputation on the entire product line of a for-profit company, which is what they would be doing in this instance. I can’t imagine that any pesiticide/fertilizer company out there rates a blanket approval from an environmental group, especially when there is so little data on these products.

  26. As an employee of NWF and probably one of it’s biggest fans – I really appreciate your comments. I know this is “Garden Rant” so the comments tend to be a little on the angry side, but the comments you have made have been heard.
    That being said — It’s important to realize that NWF has wildlife’s best interest in mind always (and believe me I wouldn’t be as in love with my job if we didn’t).

  27. Michelle says:

    Actually, Danielle, comments here aren’t typically angry.

    I don’t use any chemicals on my garden and I am now regretting that I paid for a NWF “certified wildlife garden” sign.

  28. Cindy says:

    Scotts is trying to “green wash” on the backs of NWF

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