A new event lawn at the James Farm Ecological Preserve in Ocean View hosted the 2019 Native Plant Sale and Green Living Expo on May 4, in part to compost derived from poultry.

Perdue AgriRecycle donated 80 cubic yards of compost to the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays for the installation of a new event lawn at the James Farm Ecological Preserve in Ocean View. The event lawn is part of the implementation of the James Farm Master Plan, a community-developed initiative designed to protect the Preserve’s diverse collection of ecosystems, while safely accommodating and educating a growing number of visitors.

The compost provided by Perdue AgriRecycle was a component in completing the event lawn, which will provide an open, flexible and easily accessible space for outdoor recreation and community events at the Preserve. Through a practice known as subsoiling, the center will be able to maintain healthy grass without the use of synthetic fertilizers that leach excess nutrients into the bays.

The microSTART Premium Compost provided by Perdue AgriRecycle is a new product which is made by converting poultry byproducts and fresh forestry products into organic fertilizers that are listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute and meet the requirements of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program. While there is no single solution to declining soil and water quality, microSTART Premium Compost reduces the impact of the poultry industry by providing a stable organic product that keeps nutrients from leaching and provides rich organic matter to improve soil qualities.

Because excess nitrogen and phosphorus are a major source of pollution to the Inland Bays, the use of this compost adds the necessary nutrients in an organic, low-concentration and slow-release form that is an alternative to the annual application of high nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers.

The event lawn is a feature of the preserve’s new gateway area, which was the primary focus of phase one of the James Farm Master Plan. Phase two will involve needed updates to the preserve’s campus area, which hosts the James Farm Education Program for middle school students in the watershed. Fundraising for phase two is underway.

For more, visit inlandbays.org or call 226-8105.