River Forest – Healthy Lawns, Healthy Families

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The River Forest Parks Foundation and community activists in River Forest wanted to reduce synthetic pesticide and fertilizer use and protect water quality of the nearby Des Plaines River by promoting natural lawn care practices.  They turned to Midwest Pesticide Action Center for ideas, technical assistance, and messaging to better inform the community about better choices for lawn care.  In collaboration we created the Healthy Lawn, Healthy Family pamphlet to better inform homeowners about natural lawn care and a Keep On the Grass pledge campaign designed to motivate families to pledge to manage their lawn naturally.

Picture of Pledge

Click the image to download the pledge!

Natural lawn care is one of the best ways to reduce pesticide use while still maintaining a lush, green, and healthy lawn safe for playing and pets. An effective natural lawn care program generally consists of:

  • Mowing to a minimum of three inches;
  • Aerating soil to reduce compaction;
  • Applying  organic slow releasing fertilizers, such as compost or alfalfa meal; and
  • Avoiding synthetic pesticide use, especially in products such as “weed and feed” which applies pesticides to the entire lawn.

Keep on the Grass Sign in UseIf you are a member of the River Forest community and are interested in reducing your pesticide use, sign the pledge to make a commitment to practicing natural lawn care and receive a Keep On the Grass sign to show your commitment to more sustainable lawn care practices.

If you’re creating a similar campaign promoting natural lawn care in your community, please contact MPAC’s Outdoor Program Manager, Kari Spiegelhalter, at kspiegelhalter@pesticideaction.org or (773) 878-7378 ext. 204. Kari would love the opportunity to bring the Keep On the Grass campaign to your community so that we can together build a greener and healthier Midwest.