Events, News

Midwest Grows Green 4 Year Review

Communities across Greater Chicago take a lead in pesticide reduction.

This year across Greater Chicago, children can play free of worry on more than 265 acres of pledged landscapes to pesticide-free lawn care. The non-profit initiative, Midwest Grows Green (MGG), has pushed forward natural lawn care at these 265 acres, or the equivalent to 201 football fields. 

Since its start in 2015, MGG has formed strong partnerships with citizen action groups, interested funders and local authorities to manage sports and recreational fields without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.  Most recently and notably, MGG collaborated with the Lisle Park District and Non Toxic Lisle to implement four organic parks of Abbeywood, Connelly Memorial, Oak Hill and Leask Lane thanks to funds, tools and resources provided by Stonyfield Yogurt.

“We’re excited to partner with Stonyfield, MGG and Non Toxic Lisle in this endeavor to reduce our use of pesticides in our park management operation,” said Lisle Park District’s Director of Parks & Recreation, Dan Garvy. “We look forward to promoting this program on an ongoing basis and celebrating what we hope to be a new standard in maintaining our community’s parks.” 

Other communities have followed suit. Non Toxic Elmhurst and the Elmhurst Cool Cities Coalition have worked with MGG since its beginning to achieve toxic free environments. This year, the Elmhurst Park District announced its second organic park, the 3.49 acre Marjorie Davis Park, and plans to transition fertilization of all parks to organic by 2020. 

 “We applaud the park district board members and staff with the work they’ve done to keep Elmhurst a sustainable and vibrant community,” said Elmhurst Cool Cities member, Jill Jarvis. “It’s our hope that with the Park District taking the lead on sustainability and organic lawn care, other municipalities, businesses and community members will want to do the same.”

Other communities across Greater Chicago that have implemented pesticide-free parks include Naperville, Park Ridge, Highland Park, River Forest, Evanston, Riverdale, Lake Bluff and Chicago. 

“Homeowners and Park Districts alike can keep their lawns organic by increasing cultural controls of core aeration, overseeding and mowing high that builds the soil, turf and plant system at every step,” said Ryan Anderson, the leader of MGG. 

MGG, Stonyfield and partners invite you to learn more about natural lawn care (NLC) Thursday, October 24th when NLC expert Chip Osborne visits Chicago to assist Lisle Park District with their four organic parks.  Mr. Osborne will start by offering a free Organic Parks Workshop at the Lisle Recreation Center at 1925 Ohio Street from 9 am to noon. Registration at  Later that evening from 5 to 7 pm, Mr. Osborne and MGG travel to Patagonia’s Lincoln Park Store, 1800 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 for MGG’s 4 year celebration that features adult beverages, a panel discussion, raffle and more.  Registration is free at with a suggested $10 donation to MGG at

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