The Rapidian

Learn how to make safe, healthy lawns and gardens in Grand Rapids

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Did you know the Sierra Club is active right here in Grand Rapids? Come join us at our special event on Monday April 9, 2018 7:00 p.m. at Mayfair Church, 1736 Lyon St. N.E..
John Venman of Venman's Landscape Service

John Venman of Venman's Landscape Service /Courtesy of Sierra Club Grand Rapids

Underwriting support from:
Poster for Soil Alive! event

Poster for Soil Alive! event /Courtesy of Sierra Club Grand Rapids

Did you know the Sierra Club is active right here in Grand Rapids? Come join us at our special event on Monday April 9, 2018 7:00 p.m. at Mayfair Church, 1736 Lyon St. N.E. This educational program is tilted "Soil Alive" and will be presented by John Venman of Venman's Landscape Service. RSVP by April 3rd to [email protected]. Venman will discuss the importance of caring for your yard without the use of harmful pesticides. You know that bottle of Roundup most of us have in our garages? In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced that it had classified glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) as a class 2A carcinogen, meaning “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Let's ditch the Roundup, and learn about alternatives to conventional lawn and garden practices. It is possible to have a lush, healthy lawn that is appealing to your neighbors, and to all the living beings with which we share the planet.

John Venman has worked in the landscape business for over 45 years and has been practicing chemical-free and organic landscape programs for over 25 years. He has a degree in Landscape Architecture from MSU. Venman's passion is to take care of our earth in a responsible and safe way. He is the owner of Venman's Landscape Service, a family-owned business located in Rockford, MI since 1951.

This program is presented by the Sierra Club, the nation's oldest and largest environmental organization, founded in 1892 by John Muir. With 150,000 supporters in Michigan, great accomplishments have been made in our state, including securing permanent protection for Sleeping Bear Dunes. Our local Greater Grand Rapids committee is active in various campaigns at the national and state levels, as well as right here in your own neighborhood.

One of our local campaigns is called "Growing Green Grand Rapids" and we have gathered to ask the question, "How can we make our green spaces healthy for people, pets, pollinators, and the planet?" There is a green revolution moving towards organic lawn and garden practices, so "Growing Green Grand Rapids" was formed to join this movement to tackle the problem of lawn pollution. Our group was initiated by members of the Greater Grand Rapids Sierra Club. The goal is to organize and educate our community to promote organic and sustainable landscape practices that are better for the air, water, and earth. Our brand is "Bee Safe Yards!"

For more information you can reach us at [email protected]. To attend our meetings and find out what else we are working on, please visit

By Dawn Wigert & Natalie Hockamier

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.