Going Beyond National Lawn Care Month

April provides us an opportunity for greater service
by Ron Hall/Editor-in-Chief
4/1/2014

April is National Lawn Care month. Lawn Care Month has a lot of company this month.

April is also National Autism Awareness Month, Decorating Month, Child Abuse Prevention Month, Financial Literacy Month, Poetry Month, Garden Month, Humor Month, Kite Month, Volunteer Month, Donate Life Month, Car Care Month, Alcohol Awareness Month, Soyfoods Month and Garlic Month.

Wheww, I'm just about exhausted trying to take it all in.

Apart from Lawn Care Month, the only other "National Month" that I care a whit about is National Child Abuse Prevention Month - and I care a lot about that. The thought of child abuse (any abuse, any child) chills my heart. I have two lovely, joyful granddaughters (ages 3 and 1) and I can't imagine them suffering any form of abuse . . . at anyone's hands.

How big a problem is child abuse? You may not realize just how monstrous a problem it is. In fact, I had no idea until several years ago when I inquired about the significance of a mass of blue, toy pinwheels spinning on the southwest corner of the county courthouse lawn three blocks from my home. They appear on the lawn each April. I walk by them almost every day on my way to my small office in the local library.

When I learned that each of the pinwheels represents one case of child abuse in my small rural county of 31,000 people I was stunned. The pinwheels - there are several hundred at least - are arranged in crisp rows on the green grass as neatly as soldiers on parade. These are the "reported" cases, a friend who also happens to be a sheriff's deputy told me. Many more go unreported, he said grimly.

Yes, National Lawn Care Month is a great opportunity for us to inform and educate the public to the lifestyle and environmental benefits that well-maintained lawns provide. All of the information that we need to do this is readily available on the website of The Professional Landcare Network. Download the information and use it. Access the information here.

And if what I'm about to suggest sounds off-message to some of you, so be it as I make no apologies. But, couldn't we do immeasurably more good by somehow partnering National Lawn Care Month with National Child Prevention Abuse effort each April?

It would seem that those of us in lawn care are in a great position to help publicize and seek greater public involvement in preventing the occurrence of child abuse by connecting with those customers who who might demonstrate their support, as well as ours, on their green lawns.