During a Family Garden Workshop at Crossroads, a pretty little girl asked me if there were Princesses when I was a little girl. I replied that when I was little, there were not quite as many, but yes, there were Disney Princesses. Correctly surmising that I probably never was a girly-girl, she timidly asked if I had a favorite. Oh, yes. I loved Snow White, and I was both enchanted and horrified by the Grimm’s fairy tale and the Disney movie.
Having grown up in the safety of a loving family, I was simply shocked..SHOCKED… that a grown-up would give a poison apple to a child. Grownups were supposed to protect children from danger. Grownups kept children safe when they played and gave them healthy food to eat. Giving a child poison? Really? No wonder they called the queen “evil.”
Today’s parents and grandparents, school and park officials, and land managers no doubt care passionately about the safety of children (and of pets and wild birds) and would probably never knowingly expose them to poison, but alas, they do that very thing when they apply certain chemicals to their lawns.
About a year ago, representatives from Door Property Owners, Sustain Door, and Wild Ones gathered at Crossroads to preview a film called “A Chemical Reaction,” In this award winning documentary, spokesman Paul Tukey exposes the harmful consequences of the overuse of pesticides and profiles the experience of a small Canadian community’s successful battle with an industrial giant in stopping the nonessential use of lawn chemicals. The film examines evidence that pesticides harm the environment and can be detrimental to human and animal health, leading to cancers, neurological damage and other autoimmune disorders.
We at Crossroads were so moved by this film, we immediately created a Policy of Chemical and Fertilizer Restrictions to Lawn and Gathering Areas which was passed unanimously by the Crossroads Board of Directors. Last June, Crossroads hosted a public screening of “A Chemical Reaction.” The reaction to that showing was the creation of a new organization/movement: Safe Lawns in Door County.
On the DPO website, Safe Lawns in Door County states: “ We all have the right to go to public places without being exposed to unnecessary health risks. Contact exposure of people, especially children, to known toxic pesticides and herbicides has been linked to cancer and asthma. Children are more susceptible to chemicals than adults because of their proximity to the lawn, in addition to taking in more pesticides relative to body weight and the vulnerability of developing organ systems that are less able to detoxify toxic chemicals. Similar to second hand smoke, pesticide spray can and does drift, yet we continue to spray our sports fields which are often near schools.”
In conjunction with the Sustainability Fair, Safe Lawns in Door County is bringing Paul Tukey, North America’s leading advocate for natural lawn care, to Crossroads on Friday, April 26, at 7:00. During the free lecture, Tukey will address the hazards of lawn care products and explore the benefits of non-toxic lawn care with safer and equally beautiful alternatives. Sponsored by Door Property Owners, the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, Sustain Door, Wild Ones, the Door County Environmental Council , Wyatt’s Gallery, The Ridges Sanctuary, and Crossroads at Big Creek This program is free and open to the public.
Friday, April 26, 7:00 Lecture: “Safe Lawns”
Internationally renowned guest speaker Paul Tukey, North America’s leading advocate for natural lawn care, will address the hazards of lawn care products that imperil health and to explore the benefits of non-toxic lawn care with safer and equally beautiful alternatives. Sponsored by Door Property Owners, the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, Sustain Door, Wild Ones, the Door County Environmental Council, Wyatt’s Gallery, The Ridges Sanctuary, and Crossroads at Big Creek.Free and open to the public.