Writing Contest Winners 2015-2016

Honorable Mention, Grades 6-8

Demi Kroumpouzos
St. Mary of the Hills School, Milton
Mrs. Marotta, Teacher

Bay State Fertilizer, the Natural Choice

Many of us truly enjoy the beautifully groomed lawns of athletic fields, parks and recreation centers, school yards, and other public sites. Though, many people don't really know how much hard work goes into keeping lawns and landscapes green and healthy. There are numerous fertilizer options but one stands out as a natural product that is actually good for our environment. In this essay, I will describe this exceptional fertilizer, the Bay State Fertilizer, and summarize the benefits of using it. My hope is to convince our community leaders to select this fertilizer over the others.

Bay State Fertilizer is an all recycled product formed from solid parts collected from the wastewater of 43 Massachusetts communities served by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA). These solids are full of important organic nutrients, ideal for fertilizing gardens, lawns, and landscapes. Before they are turned into Bay State Fertilizer, MWRA puts these solids through a special treatment process, by exposing them to very high temperatures in order to kill bacteria but preserve nutrients.

Bay State Fertilizer can be compared to compost delivering rich nutrients and extra moisture to the soil. It is different from compost though, because it is simple to apply with any fertilizer spreader and it is rich in nitrogen. This unique nutrient cannot be utilized initially, but when it is applied to the soil, the microorganisms in the soil break it down; it then changes into a water soluble nitrogen which can be absorbed by plants gradually, As plants receive constant food and moisture, they need less water and slowly become stronger and healthier each year. At the same time, the quality of the soil improves.

Chemical fertilizer usage is very common - these fertilizers offer a quick dose of nutrients to the plants, but they do nothing to help the soil and our environment. Furthermore, the chemicals are absorbed by the plants, and then make their way to our table as we eat fruits and vegetables exposed to those chemicals. Also, as we walk through parks and enjoy the lawns, these chemicals are absorbed by our bodies, causing harmful diseases. This is even more serious for young children who may be exposed in an early age and possibly causing illnesses, such as cancer.

When one compares different fertilizers, the benefits of using Bay State Fertilizer are tremendous. I believe that chemical fertilizers should be banned and that Bay State Fertilizer should be used in public places. Our community leaders have an obligation to the people they serve and represent and our environment - they must do the right thing and approve the fertilizer that is safe and good for all. If everyone starts using Bay State Fertilizer, it will have a huge, positive impact on our community. Who's with me?

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