National Wildlife Federation Teams with Scotts

Time to take down those “certified wildlife habitat” signs as it seems the National Wildlife Federation has entered into a “partnership” with Scotts, manufacturers of a host of wildlife unfriendly synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

Some thoughts:

Scotts products do grave injury to microbial and fungal life in the soil to say nothing of insects. The NWF has too narrow an idea of what constitutes “wildlife”.

And perhaps the era of big non-profit organizations like the NWF, that are little more than a mailing list, is over. We need more grass roots organizations at the community level that consist of actual people meeting face to face to do things like building school gardens, teaching permaculture and making our neighborhoods safer.

For more background on this controversy see Garden Rant.¬† And leave a comment on the NWF’s Facebook page.

Update: NWF has announced that they are giving up on this partnership citing Scott’s legal troubles¬† “related to events in 2008 that predate our partnership.” I’m still going to find an alternate use for my NWF wildlife habitat sign for even contemplating this partnership in the first place.

Share this post

Leave a comment


  1. Geesh. This is on a par with Chlorox convincing the Sierra Club to greenwash some of their cleaning products. After Sierra Club attempted to greenwash itself by purchasing Tom’s of Maine and Burt’s Bees.

  2. While I can understand people’s outrage at this partnership, I don’t know that I like how much vitriol is being spewed because of it. On the NWF’s Facebook page, there is a lot of hating going on. Why don’t you post some information from the NWF’s website about this issue, so that people can be informed and make their own decisions? I looked at the partnership, and even if I don’t agree with it, I can see why an organization like NWF might give it a go. If they’re trying to open a dialogue with Scott’s, then that’s a step in the right direction, not a betrayal of the NWF’s values.

    I’m not part of Scott’s or the NWF, but it really stuck out to me when I read your post and then saw how much negativity was being generated by the inclusion of the evil Miracle-Gro company.

    As always, thanks for your articles. They’re a bright spot in my day.

  3. I’ll wait and see how this turns out before taking down my National Wildlife Federation sign, my yard isn’t going to become less wildlife friendly anytime soon.

    I sure hope the era for large scale environmental policy organizations isn’t over, someone’s gotta be there when the most destructive companies try to improve their track record (even if it IS just to raise their stock values).

    There are tons of ways to do work that is needed just like the many niches in a healthy ecosystem. As in nature, when you start eradicating elements of the system, the whole thing becomes less resilient. A monoculture of grassroots isn’t a model I find particularly appealing. We need it all!

    NWF has stepped up their game. Let’s stop wasting time hating on them and step up our own game in response. See you at the next workshop, seed swap, city council meeting, and polling place.

  4. Personally, I have had it with NWF since shortly after I put that sign UP. They immediately sold my personal info to EVERY related organization out there even though I told them to release that info to no one when I joined. I am disgusted by their tactics and only hope they haven’t done the same to my daughter’s household when I bought her kids a subscription to their children’s magazine. If only I could take it back…

  5. school gardens, yay, that’s me! i’ve put in 13 school gardens and am hoping to put in 6 more and a community garden in next year. our program has done 40 total, I’ve done two additional outside the program.

    Scotts organic soil does tout that they don’t use biosolids/sewage, while most others do use biosolids.

Comments are closed.