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Daily News Blog

12
Apr

Natural Grocers Supports Organic Communities and Beyond Pesticides’ Parks for a Sustainable Future—Ladybug Love Pledge

Natural Grocers partners with Beyond Pesticides for the 7th Ladybug Love campaign to protect beneficial insects and further the critical mission of converting local parks and playing fields to organic landscape management practices.

(Beyond Pesticides, April 12, 2024) In honor of Earth Month, Natural Grocers® is partnering with Beyond Pesticides for its seventh annual Ladybug LoveSM campaign. Natural Grocers, a longtime leader of the organic movement through national advocacy efforts and rigorous product standards, encourages its communities to pledge to protect beneficial insects and further Beyond Pesticides’ critical mission of converting local parks and playing fields to organic landscape management practices.  

Natural Grocers’ annual Earth Month fundraising efforts benefit the nonprofit organization, Beyond Pesticides and its Parks for a Sustainable Future program. Cleaner air, water, and land make for a healthier food supply – a principle Natural Grocers has championed since 1955. Click here to see the campaign from last year.

April shoppers at Natural Grocers’ 168 stores are also invited to donate to Beyond Pesticides at checkout. Ladybug Love also features in-store promotions!

LADYBUG LOVE & BEYOND PESTICIDES
Natural Grocers’ Ladybug Love campaign aims to bring awareness to the precious insects that play a crucial role in the stability of our food supply and regenerative farming. The annual Earth Month fundraising efforts benefit Beyond Pesticides and its Parks for a Sustainable Future program, designed to assist communities in transitioning away from pesticide use at local parks and public areas by providing the education, training, and practical assistance needed to move toward organic land care.

Beyond Pesticides envisions a future where local parks, playing fields, and greenways are managed without unnecessary toxic pesticides. Where children and pets are safe to run around on the grass, and bees and other pollinators are safeguarded from toxic chemicals.  

Raquel Isely, vice president of marketing for Natural Grocers, states, “Natural Grocers, in partnership with Beyond Pesticides, is pleased to support Parks for a Sustainable Future with our seventh annual Ladybug Love campaign. Through this program and the generosity of our customers, we are underwriting the cost of horticultural services to transition parks and playing fields to organic land management. Cleaner air, water, and land make for a healthier food supply – a principle Natural Grocers has championed for almost 70 years. We are thankful for our generous customers who share our passion to protect our beneficial insects, the land, and our planet.”  

Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides, states, “Natural Grocers is a leader in corporate social and environmental responsibility, and the company’s support of efforts to convert land management to organic shows a strong commitment to public health and environmental protection. The funds raised for Beyond Pesticides’ Parks for a Sustainable Future program enable the organization to work with municipal governments and community people to create safe spaces for children, families, pets, wildlife, and waterways. The parks and playing fields under organic management serve as a model for parks nationwide and prove that toxic chemicals are not needed to have beautiful landscapes.”  

The Company’s underwriting effort has enabled Beyond Pesticides to convert almost a dozen parks and playing fields to organic management practices from Arizona to Utah, with more in the works in Colorado and Texas.

For those wanting to bring this program to their community, contact Beyond Pesticides at [email protected].

Beyond Pesticides’ website explains the process of joining the organic land management program as follows:

  • The first step is for the community to apply for the program. Beyond Pesticides asks that the application be submitted by an individual within a local government that has oversight over land care management or with their full knowledge and consent.
  • Once a community applies, Beyond Pesticides will review your application and discuss the program with local officials in charge of land care maintenance.
  • Beyond Pesticides will work with the community to determine two pilot sites for transitioning to organic land care. The community is encouraged to select high-use/heavy-traffic sites to showcase the program to residents.
  • Officials receive a questionnaire on past management practices to help them understand current and past management practices at the pilot sites.
  • Soil samples will be taken from the pilot sites in order to analyze soil structure, chemistry, and, most importantly, soil biology.
  • Once the soil test results and a completed questionnaire for the pilot sites are ready, a date for the organic land care training will be set.
  • As of October 2021, training is being conducted virtually. As conditions allow, Beyond Pesticides will conduct training consisting of classroom lectures and in-field discussions. Staff will walk the pilot sites with land care officials and answer land management questions.
  • After the training, the park officials will receive a detailed Organic Transition Management Plan to assist with the organic transition over the pilot sites’ next several seasons. This management plan outlines cultural practices and timing and provides product recommendations.
  • Beyond Pesticides remains available to consult with officials regarding the implementation of the management plan throughout the pilot sites’ transition and the program on lands beyond the pilot site.
  • Beyond Pesticides offers to conduct a community meeting with the town and community organizations to explain the program and the value that it offers for the protection of health and the environment.

Financial Arrangements: With Natural Grocers support, along with other supporters, Beyond Pesticides will pay up to 100% of the training program to our partner, Osborne Organics, or an equivalent service provider. The community may contribute to this cost; it is not required, but is appreciated to allow for expansion of the program.

Parks for a Sustainable Future supports Beyond Pesticides’ mission to protect public health and the environment, starting at the local level. Given increasing public understanding of the dangers associated with lawn care pesticides, our organization strongly encourages localities to take advantage of the growing availability of alternative practices and products that do not subject people or the local environment to these hazards. Beyond Pesticides’ efforts to eliminate the use of petrochemical pesticides and fertilizers, which contribute to existential public health threats, biodiversity collapse, and the climate crisis. Through the Parks program, communities become the leaders in their state and region to take the practical steps necessary for a sustainable future.

TAKE THE PLEDGE
To help raise funds for this effort, Natural Grocers is urging people to take or renew their pledge online and commit to not using chemicals that harm ladybugs and other beneficial insects at home, in yards, gardens and to support 100% organic produce. Natural Grocers’ goal is to raise $25,000 in April for the Organic Parks Project with Beyond Pesticides through the following in-store fundraising opportunities:  

  • Whether it’s a first-time pledge or renewed, Natural Grocers will donate $1.00 (up to $25,000) to Beyond Pesticides for every Ladybug Love pledge signed from April 1 – April 30.
  • For every Ladybug Zip Pouch sold from April 20 – 22, Natural Grocers will donate $2 to Beyond Pesticides.
  • {N}power® members who make or renew their pledge from April 1 – 15, will receive $5 off their purchase, April 20 – 22.
  • {N}power members will also receive a free limited-edition Ladybug Love reusable bag and free sticker with purchase April 20 – 22.

{N}power is Natural Grocers’ FREE member rewards program. The program is easy to join and offers exclusive discounts, digital coupons, rewards benefits, and other members-only features. Customers can sign up for {N}power at www.naturalgrocers.com/join.

Even if you’ve signed the pledge in previous years, please take a moment to sign! You do not need to shop at Natural Grocers to sign, but it’s a great store if there’s one in your area!

>> Don’t forget to advertise your commitment with a Beyond Pesticides “Pesticide Free Zone” sign, featured right. 

COUNT THE LADYBUGS SWEEPSTAKES
Throughout the month, customers are invited to count the ladybugs placed throughout the pages of the April 2024 Natural Grocers good4u® Health Hotline® magazine, for the chance to win a $500 Natural Grocers gift card. To enter the contest, customers fill out the form in the magazine and drop it off at any Natural Grocers store by April 27, 2024. A drawing among all entries with the correct number of ladybugs will determine the winner.

 SPECIAL EARTH DAY EDUCATION & DEALS
Natural Grocers will be promoting regenerative living insights and resources related to food, homes, gardens and yards all month long. Natural Grocers’ 2024 Earth Day Celebration culminates April 20 – 22, with three days of special Earth Day discounts, freebies and sweepstakes. Customers can learn more by picking up the April edition (Vol. 81) of the good4u℠ Health Hotline at their local Natural Grocers store or click here to view it online. For media requests, please contact Katie Macarelli: [email protected].

ABOUT NATURAL GROCERS BY VITAMIN COTTAGE
Founded in 1955, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. (NYSE: NGVC) is an expanding specialty retailer of natural and organic groceries, body care products, and dietary supplements. The products sold by Natural Grocers must meet strict quality guidelines and may not contain artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or sweeteners, or partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils. The Company sells only USDA-certified organic produce and exclusively pasture-raised, non-confinement dairy products, and free-range eggs. Natural Grocers’ flexible smaller-store format allows it to offer affordable prices in a shopper-friendly, clean, and convenient retail environment. The Company also provides extensive free science-based Nutrition Education programs to help customers make informed health and nutrition choices. Headquartered in the Union Square neighborhood of Lakewood, CO, Natural Grocers has 168 stores in 21 states. Visit www.naturalgrocers.com for more information and store locations.

ABOUT BEYOND PESTICIDES
A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, Dc, Beyond Pesticides works with allies in protecting public health and the environment to lead the transition to a world free of toxic pesticides. Regenerative organic land management practices that use ladybugs and other beneficial insects instead of harmful synthetic pesticides to control pests, embrace the connectedness of planet Earth’s vibrant ecosystem and chart a path towards a livable world.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source:

Natural Grocers® Promotes Seventh Annual Ladybug Love Campaign for Earth Month, Press Release, PRN, Natural Grocers® Promotes Seventh Annual Ladybug Love Campaign for Earth Month

 

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