On-field fundraiser promotes pesticide-free play for everyone.
65 percent of natural grass sporting fields receive pesticide applications.
“Our high use of pesticides on turfgrass has far-reaching effects for our children, pets, water quality and pollinators,” Ryan Anderson of the non-profit sustainable landscaping initiative Midwest Grows Green (MGG) explained. “We need to ask if these risks are worth it to kill a dandelion that contributes great value to our ecosystems.”
As the leader of the Chicago Ultimate Frisbee Facebook Group, Anderson tries to avoid scheduling pick-up games at fields treated with synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Public health research has linked glyphosate and 2,4-D, the herbicides most frequently used on sporting fields, to various neurological, immune, reproductive, hormonal and behavioral disorders. Bayer just announced that it will halt domestic lawn and garden sales of its glyphosate product Roundup in response to recent litigation risks. The company has lost multi-million dollar lawsuits since the International Association for the Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen in 2015.
“We don’t need these products to manage playable athletic turfgrass fields,” Anderson proclaimed. “Greater Chicago is home to so many great turfgrass fields that receive no synthetic pesticide and fertilizer applications.”
To prove his point, Anderson and MGG will host The Chicago Ultimate Frisbee Tournament at the pesticide-free Ned Brown Meadow Athletic Fields in Elk Grove, IL on September 18-19, 2021. An estimated 100 to 200 ultimate players will travel to the naturally managed athletic fields to compete in a pool play tournament. Games take place from 9 am to 5 pm each day.
Online registration is at bit.ly/ChiTourney21 for $30 that includes water, snacks and six games. Players should sign-up individually and self-assess their skill level on the registration link.
“We invite all frisbee enthusiasts join us for this recreational tournament which promotes environmentally safe greenspaces for people, pets and pollinators,” Anderson said.
Not a player, but you still want to support the effort? Donate to Midwest Grows Green at bit.ly/MGGdonation.
About Midwest Grows Green
Midwest Grows Green is an initiative of the IPM Institute of North America, Inc. that educates and empowers citizens to take sustainable landscaping action that reduces harmful runoff into our waterways, protects the health of our most vulnerable citizens and reduces negative impacts of pesticides on non-target species such as pollinators. The IPM Institute is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit started in 1998 that improves sustainability in agriculture and communities through market mechanisms based in Integrated Pest Management.