Preserving Water Quality

Midwest Pesticide Action Center protects water resources by promoting healthy lawn and landscape practices. Maintaining healthy rivers, streams, brooks, and lakes is vitally important to the health and wellbeing of the areas we inhabit, protecting wildlife, and securing safe, clean drinking water.

Continue reading for for: Lawn to Lake, Lawn to Lake Successes, Training

Lawn to Lake

The Great Lakes are a vital natural resource. They represent approximately 20 percent of the world’s fresh surface water and provide habitat for more than 100 species of rare plants and animals. Additionally, 42 million people depend on the Great Lakes for their drinking water. Midwest Pesticide Action Center partners with Lawn to Lake, a regional collaboration, to protect water resources in the Lake Michigan basin.

Our outreach and training program promotes healthier landscape practices to reduce pollution. With funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Midwest Pesticide Action Center and its partners in the Lawn to Lake Program help professional landscapers, municipalities, and homeowners make better decisions in how they maintain their outdoor spaces.

The Lawn to Lake Program, lead by the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and supported by the Great Lakes Restorations Initiative, is comprised of the following organizations:

Lawn to Lake Successes

Since its inception, the Lawn to Lake Program has made significant progress toward making the Great Lakes waters less polluted and safer. To date, we have:

  • Helped 318,066 residents move to natural lawn care through outreach and education;
  • Reduced weed and feed use by an estimated 1,021,453 pounds; and
  • Reduced pesticide use by an estimated 7,864 pounds


Midwest Pesticide Action Center holds collaborative workshops in the Midwest so that landscape professionals, municipal leaders, grounds keepers, master gardeners, and residents can learn about the connection between lawn care and water quality and how to create naturally beautiful lawns and landscapes.

Our most recent series, the Midwest Grows Green (MGG) Lawn & Land Forum,  targets landscapers, park and school districts, and municipal policymakers. The MGG forum, supported by the North Central IPM Center and the Illinois Sports Turf Managers Association, meets quarterly to foster peer to peer learning of best practices, strategies, and policies for integrated pest management and natural lawn care. The ILSTMA shares recordings and notes from the Forum on their resources page.

For information on future MGG Forum sessions of if you would like to sponsor, contact Ryan Anderson at randerson@pesticideaction.org.

For More Information

Activist’s Toolkit: For information on advocating for healthy spaces in your community. Learn More

Midwest Grows Green: For information on reducing the climate impacts associated with lawn and garden care. Learn More

In Your Home: For tips on reducing your impact on water quality by making smart decisions in your home. Learn More

View All Resources