(NAPSI)—Outdoor learning experiences, stewardship of green spaces, and care for all living landscapes, is the aim of the TurfMutt Foundation, now celebrating the one-year “adoptaversary” of its new spokesdog, Mutt Mulligan (a.k.a. Mo-Mo). Mo-Mo is a mixed breed pup who was adopted by Kris Kiser, the TurfMutt Foundation’s President and President & CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), at the 2019 Lucky’s Mutt Madness adoption event at GIE+EXPO, the national landscape, outdoor living and equipment exposition.
“Mulligan has had quite a year growing into the paw prints left behind by the original TurfMutt, my rescue dog, Lucky,” says Kiser. “The Foundation’s work has been important, even more so today. People are starting to realize what the TurfMutt platform has been saying for the past 10 years—your family yard, parks and schoolyards are safe spaces to de-stress and to reconnect with family, friends and nature.”
In addition to the typical puppy training, Mulligan has also learned how to take on her duties as a backyard superhero. Here’s what she’s up to:
1. Getting to Know Her Backyard: A dog’s favorite “room” is the family yard, and Mo-Mo is no exception. She loves exploring her living landscape. As TurfMutt the superhero, she encourages everyone to realize that nature starts in your own backyard and community parks. Having green space accessible is part of a balanced, healthy life.
2. Sharing with Backyard Wildlife: TurfMutt advocates the family yard as an important part of the local ecosystem, offering food and habitat for all kinds of backyard wildlife, insects and pollinators. Mo-Mo has had to learn to share her outdoor space with deer, foxes, birds, butterflies and bees, and encourages everyone to do the same.
3. Reminding Humans to Spend Time Outdoors: One of the top tasks for TurfMutt’s top dog is urging people to get outside, work in their living landscapes and enjoy the benefits of being in nature, starting in the safe space of our own backyards. Mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, playing fetch with the dog, planting a butterfly bush, or playing a game of tag with the kids are all ways to tap into the health and well-being the family yard can provide. Reducing stress, improving memory, boosting heart health, and more are just a few of the benefits received when spending time outdoors.
4. Putting the Right Plant in the Right Place: Throughout the year, Mulligan has been busy “helping” Kiser take care of the family yard. (She likes to dig holes.) As TurfMutt’s spokesdog she advocates selecting plants that are native to local climate zones, which is good for the environment and will ensure the plants thrive. (For more information refer to the USDA’s Plant Hardiness Zone Map.)
5. Sharing Resources for Families Stuck at Home: During these turbulent times, Mo-Mo reminds families about the TurfMutt resources available to them. The TurfMutt Foundation, with the help of educational leader Scholastic, offers free, online activities, e-books, and games and STEM-based lesson plans, to teach kids in grades K to 8 basic science as well as get them outside.
6. Encouraging Families to Foster or Rescue a Pet in Need: Mo-Mo also is “pawing forward” her good luck in being adopted by encouraging families to consider fostering or rescuing a pet in need. Meanwhile, she has been a big help to Kiser and the other TurfMutt Foundation team members as they navigate this stressful time. According to a U.K. study, people who had relationships with pets had better physical and mental well-being during the lockdown period.
To learn more about the TurfMutt Foundation, visit www.TurfMutt.com.
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