GLEN ROCK, NJ - In 2012, a law was passed that required homeowners/landscapers to be certified to use fertilizers on their lawns. As concerned citizens celebrating the Year of Air and Water, the Glen Rock Green Team Interns are reminding everyone (homeowners, landscapers, property management companies, groundskeepers, etc.) to be certified when applying fertilizers to their property. A three-phase plan was put in place by the state to reduce the impact of fertilizers in the waterways and ecosystems of New Jersey. It includes needing to be certified in order to apply fertilizer to any lawn in New Jersey.

Following this law is important because fertilizers can be very harmful to the environment of our community. Most fertilizers are made up of chemicals that are harmful when overused, such as nitrogen and phosphorus. So, when too many people contribute an overabundance of fertilizer, it greatly impacts our communities. Fertilizers wash into our waterways and can cause extensive algae and weed growth. This, in turn, leads to oxygen-depleted waters and reduces the amount of sunlight needed for healthy aquatic life. This leads to an overall unhealthy ecosystem in our town.

This law currently is enforced by any municipality, county, local soil conservation district, and local health agencies. Violation of this law can result in fines ranging from $500 to $1,000. We hope that all homeowners are aware of this law and respect the environment of our town and state. If you are not certified to apply fertilizers, you can visit http://profact.rutgers.edu/Pages/default.aspx to learn more information about how to apply.