Letter: Passionate plea for city to think again
by Contributor on 24 May 2013
You can find various chemical and biological hazards throughout our beautiful community. From the naturally occurring environmental hazards that are prevalent in our area such as Radon gas, to the manmade chemicals that are used in many ways throughout society, we are all exposed to a wide variety of hazards throughout our day.
Most of us do our best to limit ourselves to these toxins through the choices we make in our daily lives. When studies hit the news about the dangers of Bisphenol A (BPA), many were quick to stop using nalgene water bottles and check our plastics for the dreaded number 7 inside of the recycling symbol. As we learned more, we realized that our children’s toys, linings of tin cans, ice cube trays, and the sealants commonly used in dentistry were all in fact sources of this damaging chemical. The more we investigated, the more we learned. Information guides progress, and we, as well as governing laws and regulations, began to adapt.
We then started seeing product labeling proclaiming that certain products were now BPA free. So we purchased such products, and went on with our day – making conscious decisions about what we were putting into our bodies. Some people stopped buying canned food, as well as started to use glass and metal containers in place of plastics. Our children cannot always make these kinds of judgments, and so we do our best to make responsible decisions for them. We then buy BPA- free water bottles and send them on their way.
However, we leave many such decisions up to our municipal, regional, provincial and federal governments. Pesticide use in public parks and green spaces is one of these areas.. Much research has been done into the harmful effects of short and long term pesticide exposure, and the results are devastating. Farmers and children are particularly susceptible to the harmful effects of pesticide use. The Canadian Cancer Society is one notable organization that has provided invaluable information regarding many different harmful substances throughout our country and beyond, and has campaigned vigorously against the misuse of pesticides for many years now. Much of the information and research they have made known to the public has contributed to great advances in pesticide awareness and changes in regulatory law.
Pesticide Usage Limited This Year
To keep Klode Park pesticide-free, volunteers are organizing a weed-out event and are holding a fundraiser for more intensive natural techniques.
The Whitefish Bay Village Board approved one of it greenest turf management plans in recent history this week.
For the rest of the year, no pesticides will be applied to Klode Park, School House Park, Buckley Park or the Cahill Park playground. Whitefish Bay Little League will continue to follow its plan for limited pesticide applications at Craig Counsell Park.
Amy Joyce, co-founder of the Healthy Communities Project, was involved on the committee of stakeholders that developed the turf management plan. Other committee members came from the school district, village government, Whitefish Bay Garden Club and various athletic organizations.
Peter Shawn Taylor
- Thu May 16 2013 00:01:00
From broken windows to weedy lawns
This theory was a big influence behind the crime-fighting success of New York City major Rudy Giuliani in the 1990s. After cracking down on transit fare-dodging and panhandling, the Big Apple happily found its murder rate falling as well. It was a significant milestone in understanding the preconditions for anti-social behaviour.
Here in Ontario, and Waterloo Region specifically, we’re in the process of discovering whether this theory works as well in reverse.