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1404 Goodale Boulevard, Suite 100
Columbus, OH 43212
Phone: (614) 486-9613
Fax: (614) 486-9614

Lawn Care

What is responsible lawn care?

Lawns and grass areas make up a large percentage of land use in Franklin County. Lawns require regular maintenance such as mowing, fertilizing, and weeding. When these areas are mismanaged, excess pollutants like sediment, grass clippings, nitrogen, phosphorus, pesticides, and other chemicals can get picked up during rain events and make their way to a stream or river.

Responsible lawn care is all about knowing the best management practices for your lawn to help reduce water pollution! These can be simple actions such as proper disposal of yard waste; mowing high; watering at the right time; keeping product off hard surfaces and applying it correctly; and keeping rainwater on your property to prevent polluted runoff.

Why is responsible lawn care important?

Franklin county’s landscape has drastically changed over the past 100 years from mostly agricultural uses to highly urbanized settings. Due to these changes, the area has been facing numerous water quality challenges like stormwater runoff and water pollution. Polluted streams and rivers affect more than just aquatic life; they affect us! Since most residents of Franklin County get their drinking water from waterbodies such as the Big Walnut Creek and Scioto River, we want to make sure that water is as clean as possible. By taking the steps to responsibly manage your lawn, you are helping to improve water quality in Franklin County and for our neighbors downstream!

How can I learn more?

Through our Community Backyards rebate program, you can take one of our lawncare and gardening workshops to learn more about how small changes in your yard habits can make a big difference! Plus, Franklin County residents can receive a rebate on a backyard conservation item by participating. To learn more and participate, visit:

Review the following resources. In 2014 and 2016, Franklin Soil and Water hosted lawn care workshops with expert speakers including Dr. Dave Shetlar and Ms. Pam Sherratt from The Ohio State University’s turf team, and Mr. Steve Baker, state soil scientist with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service. We have posted their presentations here with permission.

Another great presentation is from the National Association of Conservation Districts:

Who is involved?

Franklin Soil and Water and the City of Columbus develop lawn care messaging with assistance from marketing professionals, local lawn care companies, the Turfgrass Science Extension Team at The Ohio State University, academic research, a focus group of central Ohio residents, and additional natural resource professionals and public agencies.

Does Franklin SWCD do soil testing?

No, Franklin SWCD does not do soil testing, but we encourage our residents to get their soils tested to know what their lawn needs! Ohio State University Extension offers low-cost soil testing through their office. To learn more and request a kit, click here.