Toxic Chemicals on Our Lawns?

I’ve become increasingly concerned about the use of chemicals and artificial fertilizers on our lawns. I think they are unhealthy for us, and a problem for the stormwater system and the watershed. I’ve been told that nitrogen fertilizer also creates nitrous oxide, which is a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than CO2. I think we at least need to raise the question as to whether these treatments are necessary, or harmful, and something we should consider discouraging.

In July I suggested to the Board that I write an article about it for the web site, and draft a letter to go out to residents in one of our regular mailings. We agreed that this would be useful, to provide as much information to residents as possible, to present a balanced view, and to discuss the right policy for Liberty Ridge. Some people feel strongly that it’s an individual right to decide how to manage their landscaping and their lawns; others that it’s a common right to be healthy and free of toxics in the immediate environment. Still others would argue that people would simply stop using them if they understood the dangers. The Board has already stopped using all chemicals in the common areas. My goal here is to get people in the neighborhood discussing this, and see if a majority agree that it’s time for a change in our practices throughout the neighborhood.

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