Did you find if your town already has some sort of ordinance against using chemical pesticides? If so, you may wish to do as we did – revise that ordinance so it now includes all those areas you wish to save from chemical pesticide use.
We had already had passed an ordinance here in Ogunquit several years earlier banning chemical pesticides on all town property. This ordinance was listed under health and safety in the town codes. Perfect.
If you don’t have an ordinance banning chemical pesticides on any town land, do you first want to work on an ordinance banning pesticides on just town land such as school grounds, playing fields, and parks?
Or do you want to try to ban chemical pesticides on all land in town and see where you go with this?
Before you do anything more, you will want to bone up on research linking chemical pesticides with a host of health problems affecting humans and animals alike.
The best site we found is: http://www.beyondpesticides.org/ .
You also want to think about educating the people in your town. You can write articles for your local paper, send explanatory letters to everyone in town, or invite an organic lawn and garden expert who can speak about this and have a workshop for your Select Board and citizens alike.
Who can you ask? Organic landscapers and gardeners might be willing.
If you have no one local who wants to speak, contact Jay Feldman at beyondpesicides.org for suggestions.
The idea is to get a good discussion going in town. You will find some landscapers objecting. You will also find that some people don’t like being told ‘by the government’ what they can do on their property.
You can point out that we now recycle our papers instead of burning them; that we don’t have a private dump in the woods as we found in the woods where I grew up – old bottles and metal, and we use our leaves now for mulch or compost instead of burning them. Some of these former activities are now seen as a public health hazard.
That’s enough for this week. You will be thinking of adding to an existing pesticide ordinance or creating one, looking at the links between chemical pesticides and health problems, and thinking of ways to educate your town. Next week we will discuss writing your own ordinance.