Does it seem to you that, every summer, pesticide application signs are popping up all over? Now, amid increasing concern about the effects of pesticide use, Needham is stepping up its efforts to inform residents of the dangers of pesticides and ways to avoid their use. Please read about their initiative in this guest blog post by Ally Littlefield, Needham’s Food Regulatory Program Analyst Intern. Check out the Town’s materials cited below, plus Green Needham’s Sustainable Landscaping section and list of Local Sustainable Landscapers.
Needham Public Health is reminding residents that they can foster a beautiful, healthy lawn and yard without the use of pesticides. With the help of Needham Parks and Forestry, Needham Conservation Commission, Green Needham Collaborative, the Needham League of Women Voters, the Needham Board of Health, and organic land care experts, Needham seeks to reduce residential pesticide use in town.
Residents will find a Pesticide Advisory and Healthy Lawns and Landscapes Brochure in their water bill starting in February and on town-related websites. These resources present updated scientific findings regarding pesticides and discuss organic land care methods, including information about nearby landscapers who provide organic lawn care.
Outdoor pesticide use is not sustainable and may be associated with short- and long-term health consequences, especially in children. In Needham, pesticides can easily contaminate stormwater, thus polluting our streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, and wetlands. Widespread pesticide use has also contributed to a dramatic decline in insects, which includes pollinators. Unfortunately, human health will always be at risk if pesticides continue to disrupt our environment. To learn more about pesticides and their impacts on human health, read through our Pesticide Advisory and visit the suggested resources found at the bottom of that document.
The good news is that you can protect yourself, your neighbors, and our environment by eliminating or reducing your personal pesticide use. While your impact may seem small, suburban lawns and yards are treated with more pesticides per acre (3.2-9.8 lbs) when compared to crops. In addition to this, 52 million households use herbicide, the most popular pesticide for lawns and gardens, in their yards. Learn how to practice organic land care in Needham by reviewing our Healthy Lawns and Landscapes Brochure. We encourage you to quit this costly, harmful cycle and consider the benefits organic land care has to offer.