Sign on for Lawn Pesticide Awareness!


JuenIrwinI hate to ask you to turn your attention to something serious, drunkenly enthralled as you no doubt are with the awesomeness of your garden in May – but just for a second.  Just long enough to ask you to pass along this information to any nonprofit or government group who may be interested in limiting the use of lawn pesticides. 

Paul Tukey, the Safelawns rabble-rowser who's such a thorn in the side of Big Chem, has corralled 68 organizations already to sign a petition for Lawn Pesticide Awareness, naming a day in honor of the truly awesome Dr. June Irwin, shown right with Paul and director Brett Plymale.  (Of the critically acclaimed "A Chemical Reaction".)

From Paul's newsletter:

Friday (May 8) Will be a historic day in the SafeLawns movement when dozens of North American health, environmental, farming and landscaping organizations proclaim Lawn Pesticide Awareness Day in honor of the 20th anniversary of North America’s first municipal pesticide ban and the doctor who helped make it happen

If you’re a member of a non-profit organization, consider having it sign on to the petition to make our planet healthier and safer for our children.

Here's the link to the terrifically entertaining story of June Irwin's successful campaign to ban the toxins that were making her patients sick – plus the list of signers so far.  The Lawn Reform Coalition is there, of course.

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Susan Harris

Susan’s a garden writer, teacher and activist in the Washington, D.C. area. Co-founder of GardenRant, she also wrote for national gardening magazines and independent garden centers before retiring in 2014. Now she has time for these projects:

  • Founding and now managing the pro-science educational nonprofit GOOD GARDENING VIDEOS that finds and promotes the best videos on YouTube for teaching people to garden.
  • Creating and managing DC GARDENS, the nonprofit campaign to promote the public gardens of the Washington, D.C. area, and gardening by locals.
  • Creating and editing the community website GREENBELT ONLINE to serve her adopted hometown of Greenbelt, Maryland (a “New Deal Utopia” founded in 1937).
  • Also in Greenbelt, MD, writing the e-newsletter and serving on the Board of Directors for the cooperatively-owned music and arts venue and restaurant called the NEW DEAL CAFE.

Contact Susan via email or by leaving a comment here.

Photo by Stephen Brown.


  1. Speaking of nasty chemicals, my beekeeping group is alerting its members to the growing use of a chemical to kill stinkbugs, which for several years have invaded homes here in the Mid-Atlantic area (and maybe elsewhere?). In the last few days, some local beekeepers have found piles of dead bees around their hives and here’s someone’s guess at the possible cause:

    “A request has been filed to allow the pesticide dinotefuran to be applied to apples and peaches in our area to control stinkbugs. It is already approved for application in lawn care …..

    “Dinotefuran is a neonicotinoid pesticide. Recent research has indicated neonicotinoid pesticides as a class may be implicated in CCD due to residues in plant pollens the bees bring back to the hive; but it also highly toxic to honeybees on direct contact.

    “With the increasing infestations of stinkbugs in our area, there’s an increasing probability neighbors who use a lawn service are going to be sold an option to have pesticide applied to control stinkbugs….”

    So I’ll be observing Lawn Pesticide Awareness Day — on both Friday, May 6 and Sunday, May 8, just to cover all the possibilities.

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