Learn how to manage a chemical-free lawn at our Patagonia-sponsored, family-friendly event:
Saturday, Oct. 21, 10 a.m. – noon
Grace Bible Church parking lot (event will move indoors in inclement weather)
398 W. Eggleston Ave., Elmhurst
This interactive event uses hands-on activities to demonstrate a natural lawn care approach that avoids the use of toxic and potentially harmful pesticides. Stay for a brief overview of the natural lawn care practices being implemented in Elmhurst, and enter to win free Patagonia items!
Elmhurst 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.
The Naperville Park District recently suspended the application of chemical weed killer on playgrounds in response to a petition questioning the district’s weed control efforts in parks.
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.
To bring more pesticide-free parks and green spaces to Elmhurst, take the following steps:
Take the pledge to go pesticide-free on your own lawn and garden. 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.
Contact the Elmhurst Park District, school district(s) and City to encourage more pesticide-free spaces.
For the City of Elmhurst: Email firstname.lastname@example.org AND your aldermen. Aldermen email addresses are typically email@example.com. If you are not sure who your aldermen are, visit https://www.elmhurst.org/251/Council-Members. You can also post your message to Facebook and Twitter to spread the word. FB: cityofelmhurst; Twitter: @CityofElmhurst
For the Elmhurst Park District: Email firstname.lastname@example.org. FB: ElmhurstParkDistrict; Twitter: @elmparkdistrict
For District 205: Email email@example.com. FB: ElmhurstCUSD205; Twitter: @Elmhurst205
With community support, Cool Cities will continue to approach these organizations to ask for their commitment to go pesticide-free.
For more information on MPAC, visit midwestpesticideaction.org.
Photos: MPAC 2016