With this year’s drought, growing water-wise, pollinator-friendly yards is more important than ever. Whether you’re investing in water conservation landscaping or working on maintaining the vitality of your lawn after our extreme summer, going pesticide free can help keep your yard – and community – healthy and flourishing.
Pesticides can pose health risks, especially for children, pregnant women, and older populations. Many pesticides are also linked to declines in bird and pollinator populations. Eliminating the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers is a great step towards protecting our community from harmful chemicals.
Establishing a healthy organic yard may require a little extra work up front, and fall is the perfect time to get started!
We’ve gathered some of our best tips and resources to help you restore soil health in your yard and eliminate pesticides in your lawn care. Check it out!
Does all this snow have some of you daydreaming about spring and gardening?
Luckily spring is just around the corner, and now is a great time to start planning a pesticide free yard, garden, and home! Pesticides are often used on lawns and in gardens to limit weeds and associated pests. Unfortunately, pesticides (including herbicides, rodenticides, insecticides, and fungicides) have negative health impacts on people and the environment.
Being pesticide free means choosing methods of controlling these weeds and pests in ways that are healthy for the environment and for you and your family!
Salt Lake City has been working with Healthy Babies Bright Futures since 2016 to reduce exposures to harmful chemicals—many of which we unknowingly come in contact with on a daily basis. A common source of harmful chemical exposure is through pesticides and lawn fertilizer use. Salt Lake City’s Sustainability Department partnered with Beyond Pesticides to create a public resource guide for a less toxic approach to pest management and lawn care.
Why are pesticides an issue?
Chemical pesticide use and exposure have been shown to have negative health effects on humans. Serious health effects of pesticide exposure include birth defects, childhood cancer, acute poisoning, brain tumors, and asthma. Avoiding pesticides in your yards will help protect the health of our communities.
On April 13, Stonyfield Yogurt will host a “Field Day” of fun-filled family activities for the general public to enjoy, which celebrates a new program and collaboration with the City.
Bouncy houses, games, music, free organic yogurt and other activities will be located between playing fields at the Regional Athletic Complex and are open to all. Education about organic field maintenance will also take place at a fun “Edutainment Cart” featuring interactive and educational activities for kids and parents.
At 1 pm Mayor Jackie Biskupski will receive a donation of $5,000 from Stonyfield Organic yogurt to support the Pesticide Free SLC program. It will be used to convert two fields at the Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex (RAC) to organic land care maintenance methods.
The company will also pledge an additional $40,000 to cover technical services to implement and identify best management practices that could be scaled up at the RAC, with the goal of making it the first sports complex in the nation with professional-grade fields being maintained through organic maintenance practices.
What: “Field Day of Fun!” to Celebrate Organic Land Care with Stonyfield Organic
The initiative is aimed at reducing overall chemical use in the Salt Lake City community and includes both a municipal and public focus. Building off the best management practices already employed by the Parks Division for the maintenance of all municipal parks and fields, the City has been piloting organic land care methods at both Laird and Madsen parks since 2017.
The support of Stonyfield will give Salt Lake City its largest organically-maintained lawn areas to date, with the focus on high-visibility and heavy-use spaces.
Spring is around the corner and that means it’s time for many of us to get serious about yard and garden work.
Whether you’re making a new landscape plan, planting fruit trees, beautifying with ornamentals, growing veggies, or maintaining a lawn, we invite you to join our #PesticideFreeSLC campaign and pledge to keep the chemicals out of your yard!
You may recall that last November we announced this campaign, which is part of our work with the Healthy Babies Bright Future alliance. Our goal with this partnership is to empower community members to reduce exposures to certain chemicals– beginning with pesticides– that have been found risky and dangerous to babies in the first 1,000 days of life.
This spring, we’re posting regular tips and tricks on when and how to prep your lawn and garden without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
Follow along, ask questions, and join us in creating a #PesticideFreeSLC!
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.
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
Have you ever heard the saying, “Behind every great kid is a parent who is sure they are doing something wrong”?
I remember when my twins were born and I became a mom. As many new parents do, I always erred on the side of caution. I wanted them to be safe, healthy and happy. Living in a world that feels so big and scary at times, it can be a daunting task to protect our children. Even if you are not a parent yourself, most people have children in their lives that they care for and want to keep safe. Child safety is a common goal we can all agree on.
It can be overwhelming to think that every little thing could be a danger to your child – whether it’s the safety rating of a car seat or the toxicity levels in everyday household items. Sometimes it is hard to know which dangers merit caution and which ones are due to overactive paranoia.
Heidi Gerbracht, Bright Cities National Program Director, joined us in mid-July to meet with Mayor Jackie Biskupski, department heads, and several community organizations & agencies, to begin assessing the current risks, priorities and opportunities related to neurotoxic chemical exposures in our City.
Mayor Biskupski meets with Heidi Gerbracht, Bright Cities National Program Director.
Next steps include engaging in a public process to educate the community, as well as creating a final plan to reduce or eliminate the impact of these dangerous chemicals on babies’ brains.