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Lucky the TurfMutt Gives a "Paw Up" in Support of This Weekend's National "Clear the Shelters" Day

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Aug. 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The 5th annual Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption drive to help find loving homes for animals in need, is this Saturday, August 17, and Lucky the TurfMutt, the spokesdog for the TurfMutt environmental stewardship and education program, is giving a "paw up" in support of this important event.

TurfMutt, an environmental stewardship and education program funded and managed by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute's (OPEI) Research and Education Foundation, helps youth in grades K-5 learn about science and the environment from the perspective of the backyard, community and personal green spaces they enjoy every day. Created with Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education and media company, the program includes lesson plans for teachers, take home sheets and learning activities for families, a website and blog, interactive games and digital storybooks. Learn more at www.TurfMutt.com . (PRNewsFoto/Outdoor Power Equipment Institute)

Lucky, a real-life rescue dog, knows how hard life can be for pets who have no home. More than 10 years ago, his human friend, Kris Kiser, President and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, rescued him from an Indiana roadway, gave him a home and a big job. For more than a decade Lucky has proudly worn his superhero cape as TurfMutt, the national and award-winning spokesdog for OPEI's environmental stewardship program for kids and their families. In addition to promoting the importance of our living landscapes, Lucky wants every pet to have the same chance at happily ever after that he received.

"Lucky's mission has always been to 'paw it forward' whenever he gets the chance to help all dogs and especially "hard-to-place" pets in shelters across the country," says Kris Kiser, President of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute's foundation, which is the creative force behind the TurfMutt program. "We encourage everyone to consider joining Lucky the TurfMutt this Saturday to support or adopt pets who have had a hard time finding their 'forever homes.'"

The TurfMutt program, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, teaches students in grades K–8 to care for our living landscapes and appreciate their benefits. The program's educational materials, available at www.TurfMutt.com, are free and support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) standards. The TurfMutt environmental education program has reached 70 million students, teachers, and families since 2009.

TurfMutt's focus on environmental stewardship and best practices for water use and landscape maintenance have been widely accepted among educators, youth and families as well as listed as a resource by the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Green Apple, the Center for Green Schools, the Outdoors Alliance for Kids, the National Energy Education Development (NEED) project, Climate Change Live, Petfinder and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

The TurfMutt Educational materials can be found on the US Green Building Council's Global Learning Lab, and Lucky the TurfMutt can be seen teaching his lessons about the value of landscaping and green space to our families and communities on CBS Saturday morning television.

About OPEI
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is an international trade association representing power equipment, small engine, utility vehicle, golf car and personal transport vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. OPEI is the advocacy voice of the industry, and a recognized Standards Development Organization for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and active internationally through the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in the development of safety and performance standards. OPEI is managing partner of GIE+EXPO, the industry's annual international trade show, and the creative force behind the environmental education program www.TurfMutt.com OPEI-Canada represents members on a host of issues, including recycling, emissions and other regulatory developments across the Canadian provinces.

Media contacts
     -  Debbi Mayster, Four Leaf PR on behalf of OPEI, 240-988-6243, debbi@fourleafpr.com 
     -  Ami Neiberger-Miller, Four Leaf PR on behalf of OPEI, 703-887-4877, ami@fourleafpr.com 


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