Friday, April 20, 2007

Make Your Lawn Safe

My article on Organic Lawn Care is out today. Read the Washington Examiner version of the article online here (April 20 edition - page 67), or grab the print version at the red street boxes around town today - the article is on R11 (Real Estate section - page 11).

I attended this launch by SafeLawns.org on the lawn of the US Capitol building a few weeks ago -- great place for photo op -- but not so great for actually hearing the speakers what with the constant parade of traffic, tourists, and competing events out there on the Mall. So most anything I gathered from their press materials or from directly talking to the speakers afterwards. Lesson learned should the magazine ever plan to stage an event in such a public venue -- rent a portable microphone system or a bullhorn.

On a personal note, I'm sending a shout-out to my friend, Ang, who is battling non-Hodgkins Lymphona (aka cancer). You can check on how she is doing and leave her a note of encouragement at her blog here. While doing the research for this chemical-free lawn care piece, I came across volumes of research and horrifying stats about lawn care workers who habitually used pesticides and the high incidence of this very form of cancer. While Ang was not in frequent contact with those substances and the doctors have failed to pinpoint any probable link or cause for her disease, it worries me greatly that so many children, pets, athletes, etc. spend so much time in direct contact with chemically treated turf grass. On this Earth Day weekend I send out a plea to go organic in your lawn care and to put pressure on your local schools, parks, HOAs, etc. to do the same.

2 comments:

RivahGal said...

Just found your blog via GardenVoices, where my blog is also featured. I live in Cobbs Creek, VA, about 1.5 hours East of Richmond. I wish that I could find the Washington Examiner around here, but will read online!

We have always had an organic lawn. It might not be as pretty as the neighbors' lawn, but perfect lawns are so over rated anyway! To me, buttercups ar so cheerful, and remind me of my childhood.

Intuitively, I knew that all of those chemicals put on lawns can't be good for kids and pets, or anyone. Since dandelions and buttercups are considered big no no's in many lawns, I wonder if all of the chemicals have contributed to the dwindling honeybee population?

Nice blog, I've bookmarked it and will check back to read more!

Julie
http://GardenNerds.blogspot.com

WashingtonGardener said...

Thanks, Julie! I'm off to check out your blog as well.

Yes, the Examiner newspaper is mainly in the DC metro region - but always available oline. Hope you'll sign up for our magazine, enewsletter, and online discussion group as well.

You are right on - buttercups and dandelions give a lawn color and character. Much like wrinkles and gray hairs -- we can waste a lot of timing fighting the inevitable or we can just give in and celebrate our imperfections.