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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Lawns/Landscapes' Category


11
Jul

Hospital Ends Toxic Lawn Pesticide Use and Supports Local Bill To Do the Same

(July 16, 2013 update) On July 15, the Takoma Park City Council unanimously passed the first reading of the Safe Grow Zone ordinance, which could enact important protections for the health of Takoma Park residents and the environment. The ordinance is expected to get a second and final vote at the council’s meeting next Monday. Help us ensure that it passes on July 22! We urge Takoma Park residents to  call or write your Councilmember and tell them you support their efforts to curtail toxic pesticide drift and exposure within the town limits. If you are in the area, please also consider attending the July 22nd meeting to show your support. The meeting will be at 7:30pm Monday at the Takoma Park Community Center, 7500 Maple Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912. See the current agenda here. (Beyond Pesticides, July 11, 2013) In a show of support for a local initiative that would restrict the use of cosmetic pesticide use on lawns and gardens within the city limits of Takoma Park, MD, the Washington Adventist Hospital announced that as of June 17, 2013 it will no longer use insecticides or herbicides for its grounds maintenance program. The Safe Grow Zone Ordinance […]

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13
Jun

Oregon Adopts IPM Policy for All State-Owned Land

(Beyond Pesticides, June 13, 2013) On June 4, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber signed into law the State Integrated Pest Management Act (HB 3364) which strengthens and improves coordination among state agency programs that implement Integrated Pest Management (IPM) on state-owned and leased properties. The bill passed in the Oregon House on a 51-9 vote and went on to pass in the Oregon Senate on a 24-6 vote last month. According to Beyond Toxics, the statewide environmental health organization that  helped to draft  the bill, though the new law does not outright ban pesticides, the state will see less pesticide use as well as more accountability and public input regarding state pesticide policy. It is an important step toward ending toxic dependency on harmful pesticides, and it joins other states seeking to reduce pesticide use. See  Beyond Pesticides’ report Ending Toxic Dependency:  The State of IPM. Organizers in Oregon also hope that the new law will set the stage for future improvements to forest practices and riparian restorations. Chief bill sponsors include Senator Chris Edwards (D-Lane County) and Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer (D-Multnomah County). Dr. Paul Jepson, Oregon’s State IPM Coordinator and a professor at Oregon State University was also a key […]

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07
Mar

Doctors and Nurses Urge B.C. Government to Ban Cosmetic Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, March 7, 2013) A group of Canadian doctors and health advocates are urging the provincial government of British Columbia (B.C.) to ban the use of all cosmetic pesticides for lawns and gardens. The campaign, lead by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) along with the David Suzuki Foundation and Environmental Defense began charging forward again Tuesday, despite setbacks last year, with an open letter signed by over 100 doctors urging the government to “enact a provincewide ban on the use and sale of non-essential pesticides.””Chemicals are used quite widely in many communities. They threaten kids, they threaten pets, and they threaten drinking water,” Gideon Foreman, the executive director of CAPE told CBC News. Research by the Ontario College of Family Physicians has identified scores of studies showing that human health is at risk from pesticide use. Other recent scientific evidence shows aquatic ecosystems are especially endangered. The Canadian Cancer Society has also warned pesticide exposure may increase the risk of certain cancers and calls for a ban on cosmetic pesticides. In May 2012, health and environmental advocacy groups were disappointed when a special committee in the Canadian provincial government of BC made the recommendation not […]

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02
Jan

New Jersey Legislators Seek Ban on School Playing Field Pesticides in 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, January 2, 2013) As the medical community weighs in, the new year begins with a push in New Jersey to adopt the Safe Playing Fields Act (S1143 / A2412), straightforward common sense legislation to remove children from harm’s way by stopping hazardous lawn pesticide use on school grounds. The bill’s sponsors, state Senators Shirley Turner (D-Mercer) and Robert Gordon (D-Bergen) —who moved Senate Bill 1143    through the New Jersey Senate Environment and Energy Committee with unanimous support in December, are seeking a full Senate vote this month. The bill prohibits lawn pesticides on playing fields of child care centers and schools, kindergarten through eighth grade. On December 14, 2012, the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) wrote  a letter  to legislators in support of the legislation, citing the recent policy position and technical report that AAP released last year. In its letter, the AAP chapter said: “The NJ Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) represents 1650 pediatricians. The national Academy is a professional membership organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical sub-specialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. […]

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19
Oct

Delaware Students Outraged at Negligent Pesticide Policies

(Beyond Pesticides, October 19, 2012) School is a place where children need a healthy body and a clear head in order to learn. Despite a successful trend toward nonchemical strategies, pesticides remain prevalent and are widely used today in universities, schools, and daycare facilities. Kelsey Crain, an undergraduate student at University of Delaware, first became aware of the issue when, “I noticed there was this weird rash on my legs which wasn’t there before I was on The Green.” Kayla Iuliano, Crain’s friend and reporter at the student-run University of Delaware Review, probed the University about why there was no notification, and in return was given standard bureaucratic prose: “University Spokesman John Brennan stated in an email message that workers are not required to post signs when areas are sprayed because the chemicals are not harmful when used properly, and personnel are trained in how to apply them,” she wrote in the University of Delaware Review. “He said the sprays are commonly used commercial products and are registered for use with the Environmental Protection Agency. ”˜They are recognized in the industry as safe when applied as directed’.” The pesticide widely applied to the Green is called “PowerZone,” which is composed […]

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01
Oct

Goats to Join Chicago O’Hare Maintenance Crew

(Beyond Pesticides, October 1, 2012) O’Hare International Airport in Chicago is planning to sign on a shepherd and approximately 30 goats and sheep to graze on overgrown brush at the perimeter of the airport later this fall. The animals are expected to clear about 250 square feet of vegetation per day. Airport officials sought out the goats in order to eliminate an overgrowth of poison ivy and poison oak, and reduce the habitat for wildlife hazardous to airport operations, such as birds or deer. Chicago will join a list of other cities, including Atlanta and San Francisco, that use grazing animals to help maintain portions of their airport and a multitude of other cities that use goats as part of their weed management plans. The choice to use goats at O’Hare was made because, according to Department of Aviation spokeswoman Karen Pride, the overgrown property is difficult for machinery and pesticide applicators to reach because of hills and standing water. The area where the goats will be grazing is outside the security fence, so there’s no danger of goats straying onto the runways. “The animals are a more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly alternative for brush removal,”Ms. Pride said. Five potential […]

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27
Sep

Proposed Pesticide Ban in Manitoba Charges Forward, Public Input Sought

(Beyond Pesticides, September 27, 2012) Manitoba will likely join the majority of Canada’s provinces in banning cosmetic pesticides next year, according to Conservation Minister Gord Mackintosh. The minister made his announcement on Monday after a coalition of health and environment groups, Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Manitoba, delivered a letter with over 1,000 signatories that calls on the government to ban the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides. The public has until October 1 to submit their comments on the ban to the Manitoba government. The province is providing guidance to the public through a paper entitled Play it Safe, which outlines the background on the proposed ban, explores restriction options, and raises awareness about pesticide use on lawns. The paper makes note of the importance of using a precautionary approach to the sale and use of lawn care pesticides, acknowledging the potential harm these chemicals can cause to the environment and human health, especially those at increased risk, such as pregnant women and children. Research by the Ontario College of Family Physicians has identified scores of studies showing that human health is at risk from pesticide use. Other recent scientific evidence shows aquatic ecosystems are especially endangered. Minister Mackintosh said a […]

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26
Sep

Group Petitions for Ban on Roadside Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, September 26, 2012) A citizen’s group in Washington State submitted to its county commissioners a petition that urges a ban of all herbicides or other chemicals on county rights-of-way. The group, which opposes all roadside pesticide spraying, is calling for the adoption of safer management alternatives, citing dozens of studies showing cumulative and recurring damage that may be expected with the continued use of herbicides. The group, Jefferson County Ecological Roadsides, presented the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners with 4,700 signatories asking the commissioners to create an ordinance to stop the use of herbicides on county roadsides. The 4,700 signatures represent community members (majority), people from nearby counties who shop in Jefferson County, local organic farmers and providers, and local community leaders. According to the group, there was a 30-year moratorium on county roadside spraying due to a previous petition drive by community members. However, the moratorium was broken two years ago with an internal consent agenda by the county commissioners. This year, the herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in the commercial herbicide known as Roundup, has been sprayed three times. Roadsides group members call for a strict one-year moratorium on the use of the chemical by the […]

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11
Sep

Scotts Miracle-Gro Caught Again, This Time a Record $12.5m Penalty Levied for Pesticide Violations

(Beyond Pesticides, September 11, 2012) Lawn company giant, Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., pleaded guilty to numerous charges of misleading consumers with unapproved labels and falsifying insecticide registrations, including using toxic chemicals in wild bird food. Scotts was ordered to pay $12.5 million in criminal fines, the largest penalty ever set under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Scotts admitted to using Storcide II and Actellic 5E to prevent insects from damaging the bird food in storage, even though it knew both chemicals were toxic to birds, fish, and other wildlife. In 2008, Scotts Miracle-Gro ceased sales of the tainted birdseed but not before 70 million units of the pesticide-tainted food was sold. The sentence imposed in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, includes a $4 million criminal fine, the Justice Department said. Separately, the company agreed to pay more than $6 million in civil penalties to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and contribute $500,000 to organizations to protect bird habitats and restore and protect 300 acres of land to prevent runoff of pesticides into waterways —valued at $2 million. EPA has identified more than 100 products produced or sold by Scotts Miracle-Gro that violated the federal pesticide laws over […]

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21
Aug

Organic Land Management Ordinance Proposed in Durango, Colorado

(Beyond Pesticides, August 21, 2012) A proposed ordinance that eschews chemical fertilizers and pesticides in favor of an organically maintained system on public land in Durango, CO will be up for debate tonight, and, if denied, will wind up on the city’s November ballot. The ordinance was put together by a group of local advocates, Organically Managed Parks Durango. The group utilized a petition process defined in the City Charter, which gives voters the power to propose ordinances to the City Council which must either approve the ordinance or send it back to residents for a vote. The ordinance, based on Beyond Pesticides’ model policy, focuses on developing healthy soil and would appoint an organic land management coordinator to oversee the program. The ordinance also allows for pesticides to be used in the case of a public health emergency only after all other options have been exhausted. A summary of the ordinance, according to the group: An ordinance mandating the implementation of an organic land management program for all city parks, open space, trails, lawns, playgrounds, sports fields, rights-of-way and other real property owned or leased by the City; using organic fertilizers and eliminating the use of synthetic fertilizers on […]

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31
Jul

Richmond, California Unanimously Approves Pesticide Restrictions

(Beyond Pesticides, July 31, 2012) Last week, Richmond, California’s City Council unanimously approved a pesticide reform ordinance targeting the use of toxic chemical pesticides within city boundaries. Barring a public health emergency or immediate threat to city property, the regulation bans city departments from using any pesticide considered a known carcinogen (Toxicity Category I and II) by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. It also prohibits city workers and contractors from applying pesticide products which contain highly toxic organophosphate and carbamate class chemicals. Moreover, with the implementation of the new ordinance, picnic areas, playgrounds, and riparian areas will be considered “no-spray” zones. In other public areas, the legislation puts a strong emphasis on non-chemical methods of pest prevention and control. It would allow the use of least-toxic pesticides only as a last resort, with the intention to significantly reduce or eliminate the use of and exposure to pesticides. The legislation also requires all city departments involved in pest management to submit an implementation plan and undergo training and education programs on least-toxic pest control. According to Roger Roberts of the Contra Costa Times, when the City Council first considered the ordinance in June, some were skeptical of the proposal. They felt […]

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12
Jul

Take Action: Tell D.C. Mayor Gray to Sign Pesticide Reform Bill

(Beyond Pesticides, July 12, 2012) The Council of the District of Columbia passed a pesticide reform act Tuesday strengthening pesticide restrictions in our nation’s capital. To ensure the rules are enacted, Beyond Pesticides is calling on supporters to take action and urge D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray to sign the legislation into law. The Pesticide Education and Amendment Control Act of 2012, introduced by Chairwoman Mary Cheh of the Environment, Transportation and Public Works Committee, is a step forward in the fight to keep schools and other public spaces free from unnecessary chemical applications. The bill protects children and their parents by restricting the application of pesticides at schools and day care centers, on public property, and near waterways. It also establishes publicly available courses on pesticides at the University of the District of Columbia. The passage of this Act adds to the growing movement across the country calling for increased restrictions on the use of dangerous chemicals in the public sphere. Beyond Pesticides has worked with localities throughout the U.S. in an effort to promote organic land care systems and restrict the hazardous use of chemicals. Recently, Ohio’s Cuyoga County successfully banned a majority of toxic pesticide uses on […]

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28
Jun

Manitoba Solicits Public Input for Pesticide Ban, British Columbia’s Law in Doubt

(Beyond Pesticides, June 28th 2012) The Canadian province of Manitoba is asking for public feedback on whether to ban the sale and/or use of cosmetic pesticides for lawn care. This request comes on the heels of a May 17 recommendation by a special committee in the Canadian provincial government of British Columbia (BC) not to enact an all-out ban on cosmetic pesticides. Currently, seven Canadian provinces have enacted pesticide regulation, each with varying degrees of restrictions. The public has until October 1 to submit their comments on the ban to the Manitoba government. The province is providing guidance to the public through a paper titled Play it Safe, which outlines the background on the proposed ban, explores restriction options, and raises awareness about pesticide use on lawns. The paper makes note of the importance of using a precautionary approach to the sale and use of lawn care pesticides, acknowledging the potential harm these chemicals can cause to the environment and human health, especially those at increased risk, such as pregnant women and children. Environmental groups and public health organizations, including the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), and The David Suzuki Foundation are all […]

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10
May

British Columbia Pesticide Ban Campaign Gains Traction

Beyond Pesticides, (May 10, 2012), British Columbia (BC) may become the eighth Canadian province to ban cosmetic (lawn care) pesticides after the Special Committee on Cosmetic Pesticides submit their recommendations to the legislature later this month. The report will outline the bipartisan committee’s findings from over the last eight months on restrictions for non-essential pesticides use province-wide. Roughly forty municipalities throughout the province already have pesticide bans in place, and a survey found that a majority of Metro Vancouver voters across political party lines endorse a province-wide ban on the sale and use of lawn and garden pesticides. Though it is widely popular, environmental groups and human health organizations are expecting industry backlash and have expressed concern about whether or not recommendations will be strong enough and whether effective legislation will result. “The poll shows nearly two-thirds of Vancouverites know pesticides are linked to childhood cancer,” said Canadian Association for Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) Executive Director Gideon Forman. “Among people with kids, support for a pesticide ban is at 76 per cent,” said Mr. Forman. “Candidates who endorse a strong provincial pesticide ban will be very popular with families.” It’s believed to be the first time in British Columbia […]

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17
Apr

Ohio’s Cuyahoga County Bans Most Toxic Pesticide Use on County Property

(Beyond Pesticides, April 17, 2012) Last week, Ohio’s Cuyahoga County Council voted to limit the use of chemical insecticides, weed killers and other pesticides on county property. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the restrictions will apply to the county’s 66 buildings, their lawns and the wide swaths of open space at Whiskey Island and the Cuyahoga County Airport. In describing the ordinance Councilman Julian Rogers said, “[County pest managers] have to focus on using techniques that will specifically target the pests they’re looking to eliminate and will have the least amount of impact to other organisms, including humans.” Cuyahoga County is Ohio’s most populous county. “This is a watershed ordinance, certainly for the state of Ohio,” said Barry Zucker, executive director of Beyond Pesticides Ohio and long-time advocate for this type of county-wide ordinance. “This is a terrific achievement and a tremendous model for other communities in Ohio and the rest of the nation.” People in the county have long recognized the dangers posed by pesticides and the availability of viable alternatives. Under the leadership of Beyond Pesticides Ohio, the town of Cleveland Heights became the first municipality in the nation to legislatively prohibit the application of lawn chemicals […]

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05
Apr

Cape Cod Communities Moving Toward Organic Land Management

(Beyond Pesticides, April 6, 2012) A number of communities on Cape Cod, Massachusetts have begun to adopt or explore organic turf management practices for municipal parks and athletic fields. The towns of Wellfleet, Eastham, Barnstable, Brewster, Orleans, Chatham, and Harwich have all made moves toward adopting policies or informal practices that seek to limit the application of toxic pesticides on town-owned property and opt instead for organic methods of pest management. Furthest along in the effort is Wellfleet, which last month officially adopted the Cape’s first codified organic turf management policy. The policy bans all pesticides and chemical fertilizers on town parks, playgrounds, and athletic fields, while allowing for some exceptions such as rodent bait traps, according to the Cape Cod Times. Wellfleet’s Board of Selectmen, which unanimously adopted the policy on March 13th, were concerned about the possibility of lawn chemicals leading to environmental contamination and presenting serious risks to people and wildlife. Eastham, just to the south of Wellfleet, is working on passing its own bylaw outlining a set of organic turf management practices to restrict pesticides throughout the town. The town of Barnstable has also begun to explore how it might go about implementing an organic turf […]

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13
Mar

CT Town Bans Pesticides on Playing Fields, Activists Push to Repeal Preemption

(Beyond Pesticides, March 13, 2012) The town of Woodbridge, CT voted on last week to ban the use of pesticides on the town’s athletic fields. With the Board of Selectmen voting 5-1, Woodbridge committed to a pesticide-free land management program with the full support of Parks Department director Adam Parsons. The Parks Commission originally wanted to keep one field exempt from the ban in case the Parks Department could not meet their aesthetic standards. But Mr. Parsons told the Board of Selectmen that it would not be a problem. “I am very confident I will not lose a ballfield,” Mr. Parsons told the Milford-Orange Bulletin. “I believe the ban is a good idea for all the baseball fields.” While environmental and public health advocates applaud Woodbridge’s leadership, many would like to see pesticide bans go further and include private property as well. However, Connecticut, like 42 other states, has a “preemption law” that prevents municipalities from passing pesticide policies that limit pesticide use restrictions to land owned by the local jurisdiction. Legislation (Bill 5121) has recently been introduced in the Connecticut General Assembly to overturn this law. A hearing on Bill 5121 is set for Friday, March 16th. Connecticut residents […]

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09
Mar

With Environmental Laws Under Attack, Pesticide Conference to Convene in New Haven, CT

(Beyond Pesticides, March 9, 2012) With Members of Congress attempting to gut pesticide protections from the Clean Water Act and state legislators threatening to repeal Connecticut’s historic pesticide ban on school grounds, environmentalists from the Northeast and beyond are joining with researchers, authors, beekeepers, organic business leaders, elected officials, and others to discuss strategies for protecting health and the environment. Healthy Communities: the 30th National Pesticide Forum will take place March 30-31 at Yale University in New Haven, CT. Register online. Fees start at $35 ($15 for students) and include all sessions, conference materials, and organic food and drink. A limited number of partial scholarships are available, contact Beyond Pesticides for details. Conference Highlights: Pesticide-Free Lawns and Landscapes With the Connecticut General Assembly’s considering legislation that would repeal the state’s ban on toxic pesticide use on school grounds by replacing it with a weak “integrated pest management” (IPM) system, this issue will be a central theme at the conference. Speakers on this topic include: Warren Porter, PhD, professor of Zoology and Environmental Toxicology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison with expertise in lawn chemicals, especially low doses and mixtures; Chip Osborne, national organic turf expert and president of Osborne […]

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24
Feb

Legislators Consider Repealing Pesticide Ban on Connecticut School Grounds

(Beyond Pesticides, February 24, 2012) On Wednesday, February 22, the Connecticut General Assembly’s Planning and Development Committee held a hearing to consider a bill that would repeal the state’s ban on toxic pesticide use on school grounds by allowing their use as part of a so-called “integrated pest management” (IPM) system. If you live in Connecticut, you can take action to fight this bill and preserve the health of school children. Current state law, adopted in 2005 and amended in 2007 and 2009 to cover facilities from day care centers up through grade 8, prohibits pesticides on playgrounds and playing fields at schools (except under emergency situations), allowing instead for non-toxic pest and fertility management. The bill currently under consideration, HB 5155, would repeal the ban, making pesticide use allowable as part of an IPM program as defined by any number of a range of bureaucratic offices. Although IPM can be a helpful tool in the transition from a pesticide-intensive to a non-toxic management system, it makes no sense to weaken an already strong standard aimed at protecting the health of children. The effort to adopt such a system through passage of HB 5155 is being led by public works […]

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13
Feb

Sandra Steingraber Joins National Pesticide Forum Line-up, March 30-31 at Yale

(Beyond Pesticides, February 13, 2012) Acclaimed ecologist and Living Downstream author, Sandra Steingraber, will be speaking at the 30th National Pesticide Forum. With Connecticut and communities throughout the country facing threats to existing environmental laws, as well as opportunities for greater protection and increased local control, this conference will have a strong focus on organic land management and protective policies. Join Dr. Steingraber and other researchers, authors, beekeepers, organic business leaders, elected officials, activists, and others to discuss the latest science, policy solutions, and grassroots action. Registration Register online. Fees start at $35 ($15 for students) and include all sessions, conference materials, and organic food and drink. Speaker Highlights Sandra Steingraber, PhD – An acclaimed ecologist and author, Dr. Steingraber explores the links between human rights and the environment, with a focus on chemical contamination. She takes a personal and scientific look at these issues and offers insights into how we can protect our environment and ourselves. She brings a clear, lyrical voice to the complex evidence of biology. The author of several books, including her latest, Raising Elijah, Dr. Steingraber has been called “a poet with a knife” by Sojourner magazine, and received many honors for her work as […]

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19
Jan

New Details: 30th National Pesticide Forum, March 30-31 at Yale

(Beyond Pesticides, January 19, 2012) Although organic farming and land management continue to grow, policies to protect people from pesticides are threatened in the Northeast and around the country. At the same time, cutting-edge science links pesticide exposure to health problems, honey bee colony collapse, and other environmental issues. Join researchers, authors, beekeepers, organic business leaders, elected officials, activists, and others at Beyond Pesticides’ 30th National Pesticide Forum to discuss the latest science, policy solutions, and grassroots action. This national conference, Healthy Communities: Green solutions for safe environments, will be held March 30-31 at Yale University in New Haven, CT. Registration Register online. Fees start at $35 ($15 for students) and include all sessions, conference materials, and organic food and drink. Speakers Confirmed speaker highlights include: Gary Hirshberg is chairman and co-founder of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s leading organic yogurt producer, and the author of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World. Previously, he directed the Rural Education Center, the small organic farming school from which Stonyfield was spawned. Before that, Gary had served as executive director of The New Alchemy Institute, a research and education center dedicated to organic farming, aquaculture and renewable energy. He […]

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06
Jan

NJ Assembly Advances Bill To Protect Children from Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, January 6, 2011) A law in the state of New Jersey aimed at protecting children by prohibiting pesticides on school grounds has advanced in the state’s General Assembly. Public health and environmental advocates are hoping that the bill will be considered by the full legislature within the next week, before the legislative session adjourns. Just prior to the holidays, the bill was released by the Environment and Solid Waste Committee of the New Jersey General Assembly. The current legislative session ends on Monday January, 9th and the bill must be approved before then, or it will need to be reintroduced in the legislature’s next session. The Safe Playing Fields Act mirrors similar laws in nearby Connecticut and New York State and is designed to ensure that children have a healthy and safe place for outdoor activities while at school. If enacted, it would prohibit the use of lawn care pesticides on all school playgrounds and on recreational fields of schools that have children in grades K-8, except as an emergency response to an immediate threat to human health, as determined by the municipal or county governing body in consultation with the local health officer or if required by […]

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22
Dec

Go Organic with Upcoming Accreditation Courses in Organic Land Care

(Beyond Pesticides, December 22, 2011) For the tenth consecutive year, the Northeast Organic Farming Association’s Organic Land Care Program (NOFA OLC) is hosting an accreditation course in organic land care in three different locations around the New England area starting January 9, 2012. Attendees will learn the how to design and maintain ecological landscapes without the use of toxic pesticides. The course is for any land care professional, including school grounds or municipal employees, conservation property managers, master gardeners, entrepreneurs or landscape enthusiast to learn the ecology of residential yards or municipal and school grounds and to learn how to care for these spaces using sustainable and safe products and methods. Over 1,200 students from 22 different states have taken the course, and there are currently about 550 Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals (AOLCPs) bringing this expertise to their jobs as landscapers, groundskeepers, conservationists, planners, garden center employees, and a number of other fields. Students of the accreditation course come away with a practical understanding of landscape ecology and organic methods. Frank Crandall, owner of Frank Crandall Horticultural Solutions in Rhode Island, described the course as “the best educational course I have ever taken . . . I immediately made […]

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