HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The Huntsville Botanical Garden has a lot of green with hundreds of different plants and flowers. Now, the garden says it is “going green.”
For more than a year, the garden has been working towards creating a greener environment, and not just with its foliage.
“As a garden, wanting to do what’s best for our biodiversity, we really look for ways that we can minimize our impact,” said Tracy Wallace, Huntsville Botanical Garden’s director of horticulture.
The garden is moving from gas to battery-powered tools to care for the grounds, aside from a few of their mowers. Wallace said, “as the technology is improving in those, we’re definitely budgeting to make that transition.”
With 118 acres to maintain, Wallace said it’s important to think about every product, including fertilizer, making the switch from inorganic to organic about six months ago.
“The inorganic types tend to have a lot more impact on the waterways and so on, and the organic varieties have less of the nutrients,” Wallace explained. “They tend to go further with the mycorrhizal fungi that’s in them. It was better for our plants and the environment.”
The organic fertilizer is made in the Southeastern United States, preventing any supply chain issues in delivery – especially with fuel costs being some of the highest the nation has ever seen, along with a 50% hike in mainstream chemical fertilizers.
The swaps for Huntsville Botanical Garden are happening just in time.
“We were lucky enough and fortunate enough to make the change based on sustainability and get to actually reap the benefit of not having to pay the increased prices,” Wallace concluded.
For those not fortunate enough to skirt fertilizer problems, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is trying to help. Amid rising costs, the USDA is offering $250 million in grants to support independent, sustainable fertilizer makes within the United States in an effort to boost American production.