Letter to the editor: Keep it natural

A Yards for Kids sign in a front lawn. — Lauren Shotwell/Little Village

By Linda Quinn, Iowa City

Family walks around the neighborhood have taken on new importance in these coronavirus days, haven’t they? But as you step sideways to allow social distancing, be careful where you step, for a walk on that pristine-looking lawn can bring toxic, cancer-causing chemicals into your home.

That sprayed lawn just isn’t safe. The tip-off is an absence of colorful flowers like dandelions. Realize that everything but the grass has been killed by pesticide and herbicides for the sake of a “perfect” look. And along with killing a diversity of plants comes the destruction of an environment for butterflies, fireflies, bees and animals that your children love to see. There is clear scientific evidence of harm from lawn chemicals. They promote a multitude of risks: to children’s health, pets’ heath, pollinators and water quality.

Good lawn care skips the chemicals, allowing your yard to be natural. A diversity of plants—in addition to grass—will begin to flourish and create a healthier lawn. Pollinators will visit your yard and do their job in the cycle of life. People and pets will be safe from chemical harm.

Why do some people ignore the science? Use this pause-button of coronavirus to rethink your lawn care. And watch as your yard becomes a place of beauty in a natural way.

This letter was originally published in Little Village issue 282.

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