by Sydney Boogaard, SLCgreen intern
Most pesticides and fertilizers used today are produced with harmful chemicals that even when used correctly can have adverse effects on human health.
Common diseases that have affected public’s health in the 21st century include asthma, autism, birth defects, reproductive dysfunction, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and several types of cancer. They all have ties to pesticide exposure and there are many more that are directly connected to pesticide exposure.
Recent studies show that most homes in the United States have measurable amounts of pesticide residue in the home.
Children in particular are at a higher risk of exposure to these chemicals, due to their size and exploratory nature. They are more prone to place household items and objects that could be contaminated into their hands and mouths. Kids enjoying playing in the dirt, rolling around in the grass, and climbing trees; all potential sources for pesticide interaction. Compared to adults, children also have a proportionally higher intake of food, water, and air, further increasing their chemical exposure.
By limiting your pesticide and chemical fertilizer use you are reducing their exposures, providing a safe and healthy home for yourself and your loved ones. We hope you will go Pesticide Free this growing season and take The Pledge to be a #PesticideFreeSLC.
by Talula Pontuti, SLCgreen intern
Have you heard about Pollinator Week?
The week of June 18-24, 2018 is designated National Pollinator Week by the Pollinator Partnership and the U.S. Senate! Hopefully you made it out to this last weekend’s Bee Festival hosted by CATALYST magazine to help kick it off and celebrate our diverse community of pollinators – bees, butterflies, birds, moths, wasps, and more!
Why Celebrate Pollinators?
Pollinator species, such as the classic honeybee, help fertilize plants that keep ecosystems thriving and crops producing. Farmers depend on them to help produce high yielding, delicious food.
All species also rely on pollinators for increasing carbon sequestration, preventing soil erosion, keeping plants reproducing, and acting as a food source for other species. Read more
Trees in the park strip are City-owned trees. Please do not alter these trees, which comprise SLC’s 85,000 strong urban forest. Our Division of Urban Forestry will prune, remove, and plant trees in the park strip. Call (801) 972-7818 to request service.
by Sydney Boogaard, SLCgreen intern
It’s a beautiful summer’s day as you walk through the neighborhood with your favorite furry friend at your side. The shade from the trees helps cool the summer heat as you pad along… sound like a lovely afternoon? We think so. And we have our vibrant urban forest to say thank you to.
Our urban forest comprises nearly 85,000 public trees, including 63,000 street trees and 22,000 trees that reside in our city’s parks and open spaces. These indispensable trees are cared for and maintained by Salt Lake City’s Urban Forestry Division.
Why are Urban Forests Important?
A 2010 census reported that nearly eighty-one percent of Americans now live in urban centers. This means urban forests are becoming more important than ever. They provide essential benefits to our populations and wildlife. Urban trees contribute to cleaning our air, filtering our water, controlling storm water, conserving energy, and providing shade for us and our local animal life. Not to mention, they are aesthetically pleasing, strengthen social structures, and add significant economic value to our communities.
The majority of these trees are located in park strips. So, you may ask, what is the park strip, why is it there, and what do you do with it?
Welcome to SLCgreen Connections, an occasional series highlighting SLCgreen’s fantastic local partners—the people and organizations with whom we work closely to make Salt Lake City a greener, more vibrant, and sustainable city!
CATALYST Magazine is a long-time community asset in Salt Lake City, featuring frequent news and tips for sustainability-minded folks. After recently receiving their 501(c)3 status, CATALYST now helps organize community events, including the upcoming Bee Fest.
By Ardyn Ford, SLCgreen intern
Mark your calendars for the 8th Annual Bee Fest in Salt Lake City on June 16!
Organized for the first time by the team at CATALYST Magazine, this year the festival will celebrate all pollinators, including bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and the plants that they love.
For the past seven years, Bee Fest has been organized by the folks at Slow Food Utah. However, change was afoot and Greta deJong, the editor and publisher of CATALYST, decided to take it on. Coincidentally, Greta had been in the process of planning a Dandelion Festival, so agreeing to take on Bee Fest was only natural.
After all, the golden flower is one of the first sources of food for bees in the spring. Read more
by Sydney Boogaard, SLCgreen intern
Maintaining a traditional green and lush lawn in Utah’s arid climate can be a real challenge. Utah’s extreme weather can place a significant amount of stress on our plants, grasses, and vegetables. But with a little proactive care, we can keep our yards healthy, happy, and pesticide free.
The key to this is to remember that our soils, lawns, and gardens are dynamic living systems that depend on a healthy ecosystem to thrive.
The suggestions below are sustainable and natural practices that can help maintain that healthy ecosystem– and thereby a strong flourishing yard.
Don’t forget to join our #PesticideFreeSLC campaign and pledge to keep our yards healthy and our bodies safe
Photos of residents enjoying SLC Open Streets 2015
by Ardyn Ford, SLCgreen intern
Imagine riding your bike down a wide city street under clear, blue skies. There are no cars in sight. You meander across lanes of traffic, surrounded by fellow bikers, skaters, and joggers. Food trucks and beer gardens line the streets. Echoes of laughter are carried by the warm breeze. Sound too good to be true? It isn’t!
On May 5th, Salt Lake City is bringing back a favorite community event called Open Streets. From 10 AM to 4 PM a section of downtown will be closed to all non-essential vehicular traffic. This means that streets will be open for anything from walking to rollerblading. People are encouraged to bring family and friends for a day of movement and fun community activities including yoga classes, art exhibits, and live music.
The route was designed for easy access to public transit and GREENbike stations in an effort to give people the opportunity to experience alternative, sustainable transportation in a safe environment. Read more
As you may know, Salt Lake City has partnered with the Healthy Babies Bright Futures alliance to conduct an assessment and implement approaches to reduce exposure to certain chemicals deemed most risky for babies in their first 1,000 days of development.
One of the ways we’re doing that is by piloting organic turf management at two Salt Lake City parks, with the goal of adding more City properties.
Now we’re asking you to join us! Take the pledge to be Pesticide Free in your landscaping. You’ll get a yard sign, as well as a helpful toolkit for how to use organic methods at your home or businesses.
“Pesticide Free SLC” is a public campaign to educate and encourage Salt Lake City residents and businesses to phase out chemical pesticide, herbicide, and fertilizer use from their landscaping. Read more