Beyond Pesticides works in varieties of programs to educate the public on the hazards of pesticides and to show the alternatives to their use. In one of our current highlighted programs, Parks for Sustainable Future, we work with communities and municipalities around the country and provide in-depth training to assist community land managers in transitioning two public green spaces to organic landscape management. We do this while aiming to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to eventually transition all public areas in a locality to these safer practices. This program works to protect community health and the environment, and to support efforts to mitigate climate change and biodiversity decline.
In 2023 Beyond Pesticides was excited to begin working with the City of New York on organic land management practices. Eco-Friendly Parks for All (EFPA)*, a partnership of environmental, public health and political action organizations, has teamed up with Beyond Pesticides, New York City Parks and Recreation Department, and Stonyfield Organic Yogurt to celebrate the success of pilot organic land management programs at eight sites across the five boroughs. Organic practices such as those being used in these demonstration sites eliminate fossil fuel petroleum-based products and sequester atmospheric carbon in the soil, combating the climate crisis. It’s a win for the city, the public and the environment.”
The new NYC law Intro 1524, required to be fully implemented by the fall of 2022, restricts pest management products to those compatible with organic systems, which eliminates synthetic weed killers like glyphosate (Roundup), tied to cancer by the World Health Organization, and bee-toxic insecticides like neonicotinoids, which have been prohibited by many communities and countries.
The demonstration sites are part of Beyond Pesticides’ nationwide Parks for a Sustainable Future program, with the long-term goal of adopting organic practices that rely on methods and products that support soil biology and soil health, while beautifying parks and playing fields by strengthening the grass plants to be better able to stand up to the stress associated with use. In New York City, the program also features the use of compost from the city’s Sanitation Department, which can provide valuable nutrients to park grounds and reduce the cost of fertilizer.
Beyond Pesticides mission is to work with allies in protecting public health and the environment to lead the transition to a world free of toxic pesticides. The founders, who established Beyond Pesticides (originally as National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides) as a nonprofit membership organization in 1981, felt that without the existence of such an organized, national network, local, state and national pesticide policy would become, under chemical industry pressure, increasingly unresponsive to public health and environmental concerns.
Beyond Pesticides provides the public with useful information on pesticides and alternatives to their use. With this information, people can and do protect themselves and the environment from the potential adverse public health and environmental effects associated with the use and misuse of pesticides.