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Erie County 'spokesgnome' headlines 'Roaming Gnome Festival' at Central Library


Fri, Jul 23rd 2021 05:20 pm

Newly named ‘Frederick Lawn Gnomested’ is on a mission to promote healthy, pesticide-free lawn care countywide

√ Aug. 5 event on Central Library Reading Lawn includes environmentally focused family fun activities, photos with Freddie

The Erie County Department of Environment and Planning’s “Healthy Lawns” program will be introducing its new “spokesgnome,” “Frederick Lawn Gnomested,” to the public from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5, at a special Roaming Gnome Festival at the Central Library Reading Park.

Earth-friendly family fun activities at the Roaming Gnome Festival will include a photo booth, meet up with Frederick Lawn Gnomested, giant bubble blowing activity, recycling games, and crafts. Information on the “Healthy Lawns” program and other county environmental programs will be available.

Erie County Environmental Management Council Chair Jason Kulaszewski said, “The EMC is excited that we have Freddie, our newly named gnome ambassador, who will not only be recognized as an advocate for pesticide-free healthy lawns, but will promote a healthier environment for Erie County residents through all county environmental programming.”

The perpetually positive 4-foot-tall Gnomested joined ECDEP earlier this year and was the subject of a popular naming contest conducted by the department that ultimately produced over 500 suggestions for names 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 and photo with Freddy.

The “Healthy Lawns” program is the result of a partnership between the department, the Erie County Environmental Management Council, and the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County, along with its master gardener program.

A department press release stated, “Overuse and misuse of lawn chemicals can be harmful to humans, pets, wildlife and waterbodies. Collectively, residents take care of approximately 122 square-miles, or 78,000 acres, of lawn in Erie County. Their lawn chemical usage on average adds up to approximately 3 pounds per acre or 234,000 pounds of lawn chemicals per year. Freddie weighs 35 pounds, so the amount of lawn chemicals purchased in Erie County is the equivalent of 6,685 such gnomes. That’s a lot! Residents can learn how to reduce those chemicals through the ‘Healthy Lawns’ program at www.erie.gov/healthylawns.”

For more information on the Roaming Gnome Festival, call the Central Library at 716-858-8900 or visit http://www.buffalolib.org; on Erie County “Healthy Lawns,” visit http://www.erie.gov/healthylawns; or to learn how Freddie and his pesticide-free signs can attend an event, send inquiry to [email protected] and put “gnome visit” in the subject line.

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