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Building Soil for Stormwater Management - SustainabilityTALKS

David McDonald, with Seattle Public Utilities, describes the journey of yard waste and food waste to a state of the art composting facility and back to the soil in our flower beds, shrubs, lawns, rain gardens and bioswales. Shows how building healthy soil reduces the need for synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides on lawns and gardens, and the benefits of natural yard care through building soil health with regular application of compost.   

To see other videos in this series and to learn more about SustainabilityTALKS go to

BIO: David McDonald is a biologist and environmental scientist with Seattle Public Utilities, focusing on soil science and environmentally friendly landscape design and development practices.  He leads the Washington Organic Recycling Council’s “Soils for Salmon” initiative, which is transforming development practices around the Northwest, and serves on the technical core committees of the national Sustainable Sites Initiative, and Washington’s ecoPRO Sustainable Landscape Professional Certification program. David has worked in oceanographic research, mountain lion research and forest fire management, operated a small farm, and taught agriculture and forestry with the Peace Corps.

Links for Learning More…

• Composting and natural yard care 

• Soil best practices for stormwater management or 

• Soil Biology Primer 

• Soil solutions to climate change: http://NW Bio-carbon Initiative 

• Washington soils, soil testing, composting:

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