If you missed our February 23 presentation on how to Jumpstart Your Natural Lawn Care Plan, you can catch it on Comcast Community Channel 19 on Mondays, March 13 & March 27 at 7 p.m. and again Fridays March 10 & March 24 at 4:30 p.m.
Cool Cities partners with the Midwest Pesticide Action Center (MPAC) to encourage the Elmhurst community to go pesticide-free with eco-friendly lawns and parks … and the Elmhurst Park District joins us by pledging the 2.9 acre Van Voorst Park as pesticide-free!
According to the EPA, American homeowners, businesses, schools, and park districts apply approximately 89 million pounds of weed and feed products for their lawns each year. While pesticides target the insects, plants, fungi and animals we want to eliminate, they do not eliminate these pests with 100 percent effectiveness and also can harm beneficial insects, wildlife, pets and even ourselves.
Strong scientific evidence links exposure to lawn pesticides and herbicides to a host of health hazards from asthma and ADHD in children, to cancer and reproductive problems. Additionally, stormwater runoff can carry synthetic pesticides and fertilizers into our vital water ecosystems threatening our drinking water and aquatic wildlife.
Van Voorst Park has been selected as a pesticide-free park test site, brought about after discussions between Cool Cities, MPAC and the Park District Parks Division staff. The park was selected due to its amenities and adjacent location to Jefferson Elementary School.
During the trial run, Parks Division staff will manage weed and pest problems with cultural and mechanical controls including mowing at higher heights (3 inches), aerating, over-seeding and physical weed removal.
Weeds are often a symptom of a larger problem associated with poor soil health or the use of improper maintenance practices. In instances where weeds are sparse, hand picking with a sturdy weeding tool is the best solution. For immediate results, look for natural products such as soaps, horticultural oils, plant-based insecticides or vinegar. For more tips and resources, visit midwestpesticideaction.org.
Cool Cities encourages residents to follow in the footsteps of the Park District by taking the pledge to go pesticide-free on their own lawns and gardens. Visit bit.ly/MGGpledge to sign the pledge and learn more about natural lawn care. It only takes a minute to sign the pledge, and by doing so, you are committing to reduce the negative health effects pesticides have on humans, pets and wildlife.
MPAC will provide residents who pledge with free educational information, including maintenance tips and recommendations for natural and organic lawn care products.
With community pledge support, Cool Cities will approach other organizations, businesses and the City to ask for their commitment to go pesticide-free.
For more information on MPAC, visit midwestpesticideaction.org.
Photos: MPAC 2016