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Love Your Greats Day is Saturday, August 13, 2022

Saturday, August 13, 2022
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Rick Kaptein Jr. plants cover crops and reduces runoff.

 

Love Your Greats takes place Saturday, August 13, 2022
Love Your Greats Day promotes local action to protect our Great Lakes

A day to celebrate and protect our Great Lakes, called Love Your Greats, is held the second Saturday of every August. 

In 2022, this special day takes place on Saturday, August 13, 2022. 

Love Your Greats Day organizers say local citizens and local communities can take positive actions to protect Lake Huron and the other Great Lakes. They encourage you to think about the individual actions you can take to protect and improve Lake Huron and the other Great Lakes. They invite you to reduce your plastic use, find out about Lake Huron, and to choose products that don’t pollute. They also encourage you to consider projects that slow down or capture runoff. These projects include wetlands, tree planting, rain barrels, and rain gardens. 

Consider positive actions such as planting rain gardens. Do you have a location for a rain garden in your yard? Remember that: #LakeHuronStartsHere

There are many other ways you can help Lake Huron. You could take litterless lunches to the beach, or properly dispose of waste, or help clean up litter along Lake Huron if you find it.  You can use reusable water bottles and fill them up at local water refill stations. “Each positive action you take adds up,” organizers say.

Bayfield-area farmer loves his soil and Lake Huron 
Keeping soil, nutrients on land is one of messages for rural, urban residents as Love Your Greats Day is celebrated 

“The goal is to keep dirt on the land.” This was the response from Bayfield-area farmer Rick Kaptein Jr., when asked about why he farms the way he does. 

Rick uses no-till, cover crops and permanent pasture on his rolling farm, Tulip Lane, to help keep the soil on his land. The math is simple, he says. The more soil that stays on his farm, the less he has to spend on nutrient inputs. These practices help maintain a profitable agricultural operation but, at the same time, they keep valuable soil and nutrients out of the nearby Bayfield River and, ultimately, Lake Huron. 

Rick started to use cover crops to feed his cattle but he soon saw the benefits of having something growing in the ground for the long term, both in terms of weed control and erosion control. He noticed that even a bad catch of Rye was able to slow down the weeds. And, when it comes to storm events with heavy rains, he is relieved to see his soil is not washing away. “You have got to have a root in the ground in the winter,” he said. “The no-till really helps keep the soil in place with those unexpected rains that might come in July and August.” 

Rick admits he is continually learning when it comes to his farming practices and he is keen to see how a new pollinator cover crop mix benefits his soil. Pollinators will most certainly benefit from the Buckwheat and Crimson Clover he planted but Rick is hoping the mix also adds some nitrogen and loosens the soil using the roots. 

One thing he has learned is that if he spends a little money (on cover crop seed) he can save a lot of money and this helps both his pocketbook and the lake.  

Whether you are an agricultural producer, a rural non-farm resident, or an urban resident there are actions you can take to keep your Great Lake great. 

Love Your Greats Day is held the second Saturday of every August to celebrate and protect our Great Lakes. Organizers invite people, on this day and all year long, to reduce plastic use, choose products that don’t pollute, and reduce litter and pick up litter. They also encourage you to consider projects and practices that slow down or capture runoff and keep soil and nutrients on the ground where they’re needed and out of creeks, rivers, and the lake. Farmers like Rick Kaptein Jr. are using cover crops and no-till to help. If you are in an urban area you can consider rain barrels, rain gardens, and other positive actions.

Find out more

To find out more actions you can take to protect your Great Lake, visit the Healthy Lake Huron – Clean Water, Clean Beaches Partnership at healthylakehuron.ca (and follow Healthy Lake Huron on social media) and follow Love Your Greats Day on Facebook at facebook.com/loveyourgreats/ and on their website at loveyourgreats.com.

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