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Encouraging Nature in Your Own Backyard

By Megan Meyer

Color Penfield and Color Pittsford Green have paired up with our town Libraries to roll out a great nature series called Encouraging Nature in Your Own Backyard. As we spend more time at home during the pandemic, let us create a healthy environment on our own properties not only for ourselves, children, and pets but also for our pollinators, birds, frogs, and toads. For those of you with children or grandchildren what a great way to connect them to nature. Pick up your bird and insect identification books, plant native pollinator and bird friendly plants, reduce the pesticides, and then get outside and do your own bird and insect count!

This nature series is an introduction to how we can be a big part of the solution for saving our declining insect and bird populations. Scientific studies have shown a decline in habitat and a rise in pesticide use on residential and agricultural land. A growing body of evidence indicates that lawn pesticides are harmful to our health and especially to children. As a result of these findings New York State passed legislation called the Child Safe Playing Fields Act in 2010 which banned chemical pesticides on school properties and day care centers.

Despite this growing body of evidence, our local municipalities and residents have been slow to embrace finding safer alternatives for maintaining town and residential properties. Many scientific studies show that one of the largest culprits is the weed killer glyphosate (active ingredient in Roundup). Numerous cities, counties, states and countries throughout the world have taken steps to either restrict or ban glyphosate.

This past summer our New York State Legislature passed a bill (A.732-B/S.6502) to prohibit the use of glyphosate on State Property to encourage healthier methods for weed management. Presently this bill is sitting on Governor Cuomo’s desk waiting to be signed. Farm groups are urging Governor Cuomo to veto this herbicide bill. For the health of our residents it is important that we let our opinions be known.

We’ve added a link on how you can contact our governor on this issue.

Our upcoming articles will highlight those towns and counties in New York State that have passed legislation to eliminate chemical pesticides on public land and to encourage their residents to do the same. If you are interested in learning more about advocating for healthier practices in our town of Penfield or have suggestions email us at Color Penfield Green.

Meanwhile, sign up for one or more of our Encouraging Nature in Your Own Backyard zoom series through the Penfield Public Library or Pittsford Community Library. Sign up starts in January and the series will be presented on four Thursday evenings in February. For more information click here.

The New American Garden

Thursday, 2/4/21 7-8:30 pm.

Megan Meyer

Bird Friendly Backyards

Thursday, 2/11/21 7-8:30 pm.

Chris Lajewski

Creating a Landscape for Pollinators and Other Insects

Thursday, 2/18/21 7-8:30 pm.

Janet Allen

First Frogs in Our Own Backyard

Thursday, 2/25/21 7-8:30 pm.

Margot Fass

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