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Daily News Archives
From February 2, 2005

Maine Gets EPA Grant to Demonstrate “Less” Pesticides Use on Lawns
(Beyond Pesticides, February 2, 2005)
Two projects are underway in Portland and Brunswick, Maine to demonstrate to homeowners and landscapers how to choose the best variety of turf for their soil type. Although pesticides will be used, the project is promoted as a way for growers to “use less lawn chemicals to maintain the turf.“

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources has received the $34,000 grant from EPA New England under its Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP), to fund the project, “Yardscaping: Minimizing Reliance on Pesticides by Example Using Demonstration, Outreach and Integrated Pest Management Training.”

The project in Portland, which will be replicable, will use a real-life exhibit to demonstrate what lawn variety will grow best on their home soil type. This project contributes to EPA’s “Lawn and the Environment Initiative” which was started in 2004 by EPA headquarters, the chemical industry and facilitated by the Center for Resource Management. (See Beyond Pesticides comments on the Initiative's lawn and environment guidelines.) The Brunswick demonstration site will feature low input practices on high-use public athletic turf, which is expected to appeal especially to municipal park, school and other public space managers.

“It may be a missed opportunity. EPA should have funded a project that demonstrated to homeowners and landscapers that pesticides are indeed not needed at all for a healthy and green landscape - high impact or not,” said Eileen Gunn of Beyond Pesticides. “If the project teaches people about integrated pest management techniques without the use of toxic chemicals it could still be of some value.”

Want to learn more about creating an ecologically, child, and pet-friendly green lawn or landscape? Visit our Lawns webpage for resources and factsheets on how to keep your lawn drug free. Do you already have a pesticide-free lawn? Decorate it with the popular Pesticide-Free Zone sign.