Mary Owen, is retiring! Most, if not all, Malcp members know Mary Owen, she is the Cooperative Extension Turf Specialist at UMass, Amherst.
Her wealth of knowledge on Turf has assisted turf professionals and the public for decades. She served on Malcp’s Board guiding us in various major endeavors throughout our history. Mary’s knowledge of current happenings in turf, her relationships with other turf educators, and background in so many areas helped in formulating and teaching insightful educational programs. Mary has a knack for grasping the learning style of those whom she is educating and finding the correct way to reach them.
We will miss Mary’s presence at Malcp. We are grateful that she added so much to Malcp’s persona throughout the years and we wish her a happy retirement!
New Push On to Fight Mosquito-Borne Illnesses
Senate Approves Bill Giving State Board New Powers
Click here for downloadable.pdf file.
JUNE 16, 2020…..Gearing up for what’s expected to be another active summer for mosquito-borne illness in Massachusetts, a recently passed Senate bill looks to update the state’s approach to mosquito control.
The bill is based on legislation Gov. Charlie Baker filed in April and would give the State Reclamation and Mosquito Control Board new powers to fight mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile Virus and Eastern equine encephalitis when the Department of Public Health determines there is an elevated risk.
It would also create a task force to recommend reforms aimed at creating a “twenty-first century” approach to mosquito control, a measure not included in Baker’s original bill.
In his filing letter, Baker wrote that the “current framework for mosquito control dates to the 1970s and does not allow for the sort of coordinated statewide efforts that are necessary to prevent and combat these viruses and the mosquitoes that carry them.”
“Many cities and towns have not joined a mosquito control project,” Baker wrote. “In these parts of the Commonwealth, there is no entity — state, regional or local — that can engage in mosquito control. While a town by town approach does allow for maximum local input into mosquito control, unfortunately mosquitos and viruses do not respect borders.”
Baker said he filed the bill after the state last year “experienced unprecedented levels of EEE prevalence, illness, and deaths.” Public health officials reported 12 human cases of EEE in Massachusetts last year, and six people died from the virus.
EEE is a rare but potentially serious disease, and its activity is cyclical.
Massachusetts tends to experience two to three years of “intense activity,” including human cases, followed by a slower period, state public health veterinarian Dr. Catherine Brown said last August. Brown said particular swamps that Massachusetts has in high concentration make up “the exact right type of habitat to support the ecology that EEE occurs in.”
Last year’s EEE activity also indicated a geographic expansion beyond the typical clusters in Bristol and Plymouth counties, where such swamps are more prevalent.
“Last year was number one in a new cycle, and it spread to the Metro West, it spread to Central Mass, it spread all the way west of Worcester, and the experts predict for this to continue to change with climate change,” Senate President Karen Spilka said in an interview. “And this was a warm winter … so the prediction is, this summer could be a very bad year for EEE, so we need to get ahead of it so we literally prevent deaths.”
Spilka said the bill “lays out a comprehensive strategy to combat mosquitoes spreading EEE” and will make sure the Department of Public Health is able to work with local communities.
The push to update mosquito control practices comes as the Department of Public Health is embroiled in efforts to stem the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic in Massachusetts.
The Senate passed its bill (S 2757) on Thursday, sending it to the House for potential action. https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/S2757
Introducing the bill to his colleagues, Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues described it as time-sensitive and said it would address the current “ineffective patchwork approach to airborne insects.”
Rodrigues, a Westport Democrat, said the bill would require the mosquito control board to provide notice before conducting aerial spraying and would let cities and towns opt out of spraying, as long as they have an alternative mosquito management plan approved by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
Baker in his filing letter and Rodrigues on the Senate floor both said that mosquitoes kill more people worldwide than any other animal.
Rodrigues said the bill’s provisions would sunset at the end of 2022, in recognition of the virus’ cyclical nature.
Cub Cadet Launches The Lawnual Report
Shedding Light on U.S. Lawncare Habits
National survey uncovers the truth about American’s relationship with their lawns and surprising generational and gender behaviors
Long story short, the Cub Cadet Lawnual Report found that Americans still love their lawns. Nearly half (48%) of people say they like mowing their lawn. And somewhat surprisingly, millennials love mowing their lawn more than any other generation, with 51.7% taking great pride in lawncare and 74.6% keeping their lawns at the optimal length.
“Cub Cadet is unapologetic in our love for all things lawn-related so we wanted to find out how people truly feel about their lawns,” said Siana Calanni, Brand Manager, Cub Cadet. “And our curiosity got the better of us: who’s more likely to listen to hip hop when they mow, women or men? And what’s the post-mow beverage of choice for millennials? The data we uncovered gave us a peek at the mowers behind the mowers.”
The Lawnual Report brought to light gender differences in lawncare habits, showing that women tend to work more on their lawn while men like to brag more about their lawncare. After a good cut, men are 11x more likely to brag about how good their mow looks on social media than women.
The survey also found surprising gender differences in musical taste and preferred beverages. The Lawnual Report found that women are 3.4 times more likely than men to listen to hip-hop while they mow. In addition, more women (11%) choose to cool off with a craft beer after they mow compared to 9% of men who turn to craft beers after they mow the lawn.
The survey uncovered generational differences as well: as far as lawn mowing attire, the survey shows that millennials are actually 2x more likely than baby boomers to wear shorts while mowing.
“Research and data about our customers informs everything we do, beginning with product design,” said Calanni. “It allows us to build the best experience for consumers. The Lawnual puts a fun spin on understanding these mowing habits.”
For more information on Cub Cadet and the findings of the Lawnual Report, visit TheLawnualReport.com.