Chicago Park District Continues to Limit Use of Pesticides in Parks

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Each spring, park patrons may see dandelions growing in their neighborhood parks throughout Chicago, signifying a chemical free park safe for play. For the ninth year, the Chicago Park District will partner with the Midwest Pesticide Action Center (MPAC) to limit its use of pesticides and offer park visitors safer and healthier parks. In an effort to minimize impact on health and the environment, close to 90 percent of Chicago parks avoid spraying weed control chemicals. “The Park District strives to keep our parks a healthy place for everyone to enjoy,” said Mike Kelly, Chicago Park District Superintendent and CEO. “We hope all Chicago residents follow the Park District’s example, using natural lawn care techniques in an effort to keep their lawn safe and healthy.”

Four Natural Lawn Care Tips

Water Deeply and Infrequently: This encourages deep root growth. Aim for one inch per week. You can easily measure that amount by placing a cup in your yard while watering. You’re done watering for the week when the cup fills one inch deep. Water early in the morning to minimize disease problems.

Mow High: Keep your lawn mowed at three inches or higher. This increases root strength and naturally shades out weeds, so your grass withstands drought and stays green longer. Don’t mow unless needed.

Use Organic Fertilizer: Commercial fertilizers easily wash away, polluting nearby lakes and streams. Many contain toxic weed killers. Choose an organic fertilizer to capture and deliver nutrients in the lawn throughout the growing season. Keep grass clippings on the lawn as they provide an excellent natural fertilizer.  

Weed Naturally: Proper lawn care maintenance naturally eliminates most weeds. Annual reseeding gives grass an advantage over weeds. Avoid using pesticides, as they can harm other beneficial living things such as bees, birds, and fish. The right tool makes quick work of weeding. After pulling weeds, use grass seed and soil to fill in the hole. Your grass will grow strong and healthy as a result.

Midwest Pesticide Action Center
Midwest Pesticide Action Center is the only Midwest organization dedicated solely to protecting people and the environment from the serious impacts of pesticides. Based in Chicago, Midwest Pesticide Action Center works to implement long-term policy changes and to develop innovative, model programs for indoor and outdoor pesticide use reduction. For more information about Midwest Pesticide Action Center and Midwest Grows Green please visit

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