Department of Ecology News Release – October 10, 2007
Local organic garden store earns state environmental award
OLYMPIA – From an organic gardening supply business started out of a garage 27 years ago, Gary Kline built Black Lake Organic into a nursery with a message and became a champion for human and environmental health. Today Kline and his business received an Environmental Excellence Award from the Washington Department of Ecology.
Since 1980, Kline has researched and developed organic and natural fertilizer blends that build soil health that feeds edible and ornamental plants. Prior to starting his business, he was a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He saw that many gardeners were polluting the waters and harming wildlife with overuse of chemicals.
In addition to managing his business, Kline delivers his message through a monthly newsletter, a series of leaflets and speaking engagements. He lectures on the connection between soil, nutrition and human health to garden groups and local college students. He contributes articles and book reviews to local publications.
At his store, he teaches raised bed gardening classes and offers soil testing services. “If you don’t have the soil right, you can’t get the plant right,” Kline said.
Towards that end, Black Lake Organic has produced 11 tons of specialized fertilizer blends this year.
“Long before organic gardening was a buzzword, Gary combined his expertise and passion for the good of the environment,” said Dick Wallace, Ecology’s Southwest Region Office director, who presented Kline the award today at his store on Black Lake Boulevard.
The Environmental Excellence Award recognizes individuals, businesses and organizations for showing leadership, innovation or extraordinary service in protecting, improving or cleaning up the environment.
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Media Contact: Kathy Davis, media relations, 360-407-6149 Cheryl Sullivan, Solid Waste Program, 360-407-6915