(Beyond Pesticides, June 16, 2008) Due to concerns of children being exposed to pesticides on the town’s fields, Rockport, Maine has adopted a new pest management policy that prohibits the use of toxic pesticides on town-owned property, according to the Knox County Times Reporter. The Rockport select board passed the policy unanimously. The policy mirrors that of Camden with a few slight changes concerning the pest management advisory committee. Alex Arau, the board member who introduced the policy, became concerned after realizing that pesticides were sprayed on the towns’ fields where children played in the grass and dirt.
Steve McAllister, Rockport commission member, told the Knox County Times Reporter, “Sixteen years ago, the conservation commission asked the selectmen not to use [chemicals]. We were assured that it was OK and told it was more important to rid the town of dandelions than worry about chemicals.”
“Times have changed and it is time for us to look at how we manage our fields differently,” Mr. Arau told the paper.
The growth of the pesticide-free zone movement around the country and the passage of pesticide-free public land policies are very promising. Most recently, the General Services Administration has begun implementing an organic lawn pest management program, using organic fertilizer on the grounds of all its federal buildings in the National Capital Region. Over four acres of Washington, DC’s National Mall has been maintained organically by the National Park Service (NPS) over the past year. Voorhees, New Jersey parks are pesticide-free and posted with “Pesticide Free Zone” ladybug signs.
For more information on being a part of the growing organic lawn care movement, please visit our Lawns & Landscapes program page. To find a service provider that practices least- or non-toxic methods, visit the Safety Source for Pest Management.