Daily News Archive
From March 22, 2002

Homeowners Choose Positive Message to Promote Organic Lawn Care

Janet Allen from Syracuse, NY sent us this photo of a sign she displayed it in her yard, which she had certified by the National Wildlife Federation as Backyard Wildlife Habitat #27815. Because she wanted to convey a positive message, rather than emphasizing the negatives of pesticides, she declared her lawn pesticide-free for the benefit of kids, pets, and all living things. As part of her project, she reduced the size of her lawn in order to cultivate more interesting plant life. Her remaining lawn looks great and compares favorably with many chemicalized lawns. Her family simply handpicks the larger weeds such as dandelions, mows high, and leaves the clippings on the lawn. The Backyard Wildlife Habitat program is a project run by the National Wildlife Federation, which allows people to get their backyards, schoolyards and communities certified as wildlife habitat. The application fee is $15 and more information is available on the program website at www.nwf.org/backyardwildlifehadbitat/.

A similar project called the Pesticide Free Zone Campaign is run by the Marin County, CA Beyond Pesticides Coalition, formed by 42 Marin organizations and businesses working to change the way people view and use pesticides. The campaign features a lady bug yard sign that reads "Pesticide Free Zone" to serve as a quiet reminder for everyone who sees it to think before applying poisonous pesticides. The coalition asks that individuals that join the campaign to sign a Pesticide Free Zone Pledge. You may order a lady bug lawn sign through the Marin Beyond Pesticides Coalition website at www.pesticidefreezone.org.