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Park District Will Meet About Herbicides Tonight

Residents invited to attend meeting at West Ridge Tuesday.

On Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 7 p.m., the will be holding a community meeting at to discuss the issue of whether or not to . The athletic fields at issue are the entire ,  and West Ridge south field.

Our community has shown support for the adoption and implementation of a long-term organic lawn care plan. More than 600 Highland Park residents have signed an online petition demanding that the Park District of Highland Park use chemical free lawn care. Additionally, at least 70 residents have emailed letters to the Park District expressing concern over the application of herbicides on children's playing fields. The Park District has not received any letters in support of the spraying.

The movement towards organic turf management and away from the use of lawn chemicals has been growing nationally, since herbicides have been linked with childhood cancer; asthma; neurological, behavioral, and immune system disorders; endocrine disruption; and reproductive impairment, among others.

The States of New York, Connecticut and Maine prohibit herbicides on school playgrounds, turf, or athletic fields. New Jersey has similar legislation pending. Approximately 80 percent of Canada, including the provinces of Toronto and Montreal, has banned the use of lawn pesticides because of the harm they pose, particularly to children.

Residents of Arcata, California, recognized that pesticides were dangerous and unnecessary and made a commitment to eliminate pesticides from all city properties. The City of Arcata has been managing all of their parks, sports fields, forests, open space and landscape areas without pesticides for the past 20 years. For their semi-professional baseball team, the Humboldt Crabs, the Park staff created the very first pesticide-free professional baseball field in the United States.

Dan Diemer, Arcata’s Superintendent of Parks, told me, “Families love the idea that their children are not exposed to pesticides and we advertise the fact that our parks and playgrounds are pesticide free. Our community and city council strongly support our maintenance practices and this has been especially evident during this economic downturn and our budget has not been cut.” Additionally, The City of Arcata “considers the safety of our maintenance staff and user groups to be number one priority.” “Our fields are used by Little League, Babe Ruth, American Legion, high schools, College/University, Humboldt Crabs (semi-pro) and we have not received complaints regarding unsafe conditions.“

The children of Highland Park deserve to have their health prioritized above playing field aesthetics. The many examples above demonstrate that athletic fields can be maintained without herbicides which compromise children’s health.

If you share concerns about the spraying of herbicides on children’s playing fields, please attend the October 11, 2011 community meeting at 7 p.m. at West Ridge Center.

Michelle Kramer
Highland Park resident 

UncleAdolph October 19, 2011 at 07:01 PM
Please read the links provided, do not rely on myself, Beyond Pesticides - Chip Osborne or SafeLawns - Paul Tukey to base your decisions on. The information provided is from Expert Toxicologists and Expert Epidemiologists, people who's actual job is to evaluate pesticide safety. Not by self interest groups like the Canadian Cancer Society, Organic Industry members, the Chemical Industry or KJ Cottam, Doctor (PhD) of War History or Gideon Forman - Doctor (PhD) of Creative Writing. Teach your children how to use the Internet as a genuine research tool, not a way to twitter misinformation to their friends. Be aware that there are no effective Organic or Natural alternatives (including FeHEDTA) to these pesticides that are claimed to be dangerous. If there were effective options do you think people would be wasting their time fighting over this issue? Thank you for Listening and good luck in your communities decisions. UncleAdolph
K. Jean Cottam October 19, 2011 at 09:16 PM
The nerve of Uncle Adolph! A military historian and intelligence analyst, I devoted approximately the last dozen years of my life to research and writing about pesticides. Thus I am not a self-interested pesticide peddler in the manner of Uncle Adolph's "expert" toxicologists are! White is black and black is white. Canadian Cancer Society, among other organizations and individuals, is supposedly self-interested--of course, it is and its self-interest consists of effectively fighting environmental, non-hereditary cancer. As to the organic industry it is providing us with healthier food. It deserves support, rather than ridicule. I know I am not popular with pesticide promoters who have invented mythical ghost writers to supposedly assist me. By the way, I met Paul Tukey in person when he paid a visit to the University of Ottawa to show his ground-breaking film. The film is truly worth seeing and many communities in the United States have seen it. It is about the city of Hudson located near Montreal, where the very first Canadian pesticide ban for cosmetic purposes originated. The pesticide applicators sued and lost their case, which went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.
K. Jean Cottam October 19, 2011 at 10:00 PM
This is a correction to the second sentence above which should read: "Thus I am not a self-interested pesticide peddler in the manner of Uncle Adolph's "expert" toxicologists!" (The "are" is redundant--I apologize.)
Sangeet Singh-Gasson October 21, 2011 at 06:42 PM
There is a new article on the Patch summarizing the issues surrounding the Park District's proposed spraying of the herbicide confront. http://patch.com/N-cB9V
K. Jean Cottam October 25, 2011 at 09:52 AM
Please ignore any submissions from FON/NORANG, the Canadian extremists group. Their credibility is NIL.

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