The City of Providence and our partner Clean Water Action Rhode Island joined the third cohort of Healthy Babies Bright Futures’ (HBBF) Bright Cities program in September 2018. HBBF conducted a review of Providence’s policies and programs to recommend actions that can significantly reduce neurotoxic chemical exposures throughout the city. Key recommendations included incentivizing integrated pest management in public parks and green spaces and developing a public health education campaign promoting ways to reduce exposures to neurotoxic chemicals.
In 2019 and 2020, with a grant from HBBF, the City partnered with the Audubon Society of Rhode Island to highlight the efforts of the Parks Department to limit exposure to chemical-heavy pesticide and fertilizer treatments as well as the use of unsafe building materials. With the Parks’ environmentally preferable practices as a best management practice, the City of Providence launched the Pesticide Free PVD campaign in 2021 targeted at reducing the use of pesticides in residential lawns and gardens, as well as other toxins in the home.
The Department of Sustainability and Purchasing Department have also worked with HBBF and Clean Water Action Rhode Island to advance Environmentally Preferable Purchasing in the City of Providence. Environmentally Preferable Purchasing, or EPP, refers to purchasing choices that minimize negative impacts on human health and the environment. Examples of EPP include purchasing products and instituting practices that reduce waste, conserve energy and water, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and purchasing products that are free of neurotoxic chemicals.Pesticide Free Homepage