Land Management - Turf Pesticides
Recent advances in product technology and biological research have made natural, or "organic" landscaping the preferred and responsible method of maintaining municipal properties. Once developed and properly maintained, a natural turf program costs less than a chemical program, while the turf has far fewer pest infestation problems and is virtually indistinguishable from its non-organic competition.
The lawn chemicals typically used on fields have been associated with environmental contamination and significant human health problems, including certain cancers, neurological and developmental problems, reproductive harm and birth defects. Children and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to these problems.
It's important to remember that an EPA registration number on a product does not mean that the product is safe, even when used as directed. Rather, it means that there are safety concerns that require registration and monitoring. Over the years, many products with EPA registrations have been banned.
Several states have now passed legislation prohibiting the use of pesticides on school playing fields, and many communities have made the decision to stop using them on town-owned land.
The Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), through its Organic Land Care program, has developed extensive standards for organic lawn care. They created an Organic Lawn and Turf Handbook and offer certification through a five-day training course.