Golden’s Cosmetic Pesticide Bylaw will come into effect on April 1st. The bylaw was passed by town council and bans the use of cosmetic pesticides — chemical products used to enhance the appearance of landscapes —for residential and public land.
Golden is joining 35 other communities in BC who have passed cosmetic pesticide bylaws in the past eight years.
“This is a good news story,” said Jon Wilsgard, Manager of Corporate Administration for the Town of Golden. “Council has been working for a couple of years on this initiative, and we’re proud to be joining other BC municipalities (who have passed this bylaw) as a show of solidarity for local governments.”
Wilsgard explained that Golden residents will receive a pamphlet in the mail this week that described what this new bylaw means and why the Town took on the initiative.
The communities’ reaction to the bylaw, continued Wilsgard, has been one of “passive compliance”.
“I think people, especially the younger generation, are becoming aware that cosmetic pesticides are not needed. We’re not hooked on the idea of a perfect lawn and there’s a growing awareness that these chemicals are really nasty.”
Although B.C. municipalities have the power to ban pesticides on residential and public land, they have no jurisdiction over commercial, industrial or institutional land and can’t control the sale of the products.
The Town of Golden supports the Union of British Columbia Municipalities’ call to the provincial government to ban the sale of cosmetic pesticides.
“We can’t do anything about the sale, so if we’re really going to make a dent in this issue the provincial government has to step forward with regulations.”
Rachel Darvill, Columbia Headwaters Program Manager for Wildsight’s Golden branch, congratulates the Town.
“We are very pleased that the Town of Golden has decided to take this positive step forward with the pesticide bylaw implementation,” said Darvill. “We are now one of four communities in the Kootenay Region that has adopted this bylaw which is designed to protect the health of residents and environment health, from the harmful effects of chemical pesticides used for cosmetic purposes.”
Although the Town will be enforcing the bylaw (with a fine of $100 for abusers), the Town and Wildsight believe public education is the key to making the changes work.
On Tuesday, April 18th, the Canadian Cancer Society and Wildsight are hosting two workshops with Paul Tukey, North America’s leading advocate of natural lawn care and author of the book, The Organic Lawn Care Manual.
The first session will be for stakeholders and businesses affected by the bylaw and the second will be for the general public.
For more information, contact Patti Moore (1-800-656-6426 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or Sanne van der Ross (250-439-1803 or email@example.com).