Providence residents, as well as businesses, organizations, and institutions, are invited to consider the potential health impacts before reaching for chemicals in your lawn, garden, or home. Learn what it takes to build a healthy ecosystem without harmful fertilizers and pesticides and take the pledge to go pesticide-free in your lawn or garden.
Take the pledge to maintain your lawn and garden without the use of pesticides or chemicals and receive a free yard sign for your home.
Pesticides and Your Health
Before reaching for pesticides for your lawn, garden or home, consider the potential negative health impacts of such chemicals — on human health, on pets and other animals, on pollinators, other beneficial insects and birds, and on our waterways. The risk of health problems depends on how toxic the ingredients are, the amount of exposure to the product, and the duration and route of exposure. Potential methods of exposure include touching residue left on plants or soil, pesticide drift through the air, or leaching through the soil and being carried as runoff into groundwater and nearby waterways.
Pesticide-Free Lawn Care
First things first — get comfortable with imperfection! Mother Nature isn’t perfect. If you’re trying to capture a bit of nature in your yard, be ready to embrace all aspects of a healthy ecosystem. Insects and microorganisms create nutrient cycling and healthy soils without harmful fertilizers and pesticides. If you want an organic lawn, you’re going to have some weeds. You may need to put in some manual labor! Often, tackling a section of your lawn at a time can help. Can success for this year mean spreading compost and reseeding a quarter section of your yard?
Best Practices in PVD Parks
The City of Providence’s Parks Department minimizes public exposure to toxic chemicals by reducing, and in many cases eliminating, the use of pesticides. The Department does not use pesticides as a regular part of their treatment plan for any parks or playgrounds in the city; they are only used sparingly as a last resort option. In the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, no pesticides are used and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques have been implemented with great success. Plans are in place to implement the successful IPM strategies throughout the City.
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Pesticides in Your Home