April 21, 2020 - A new public education campaign from the City of Ann Arbor is encouraging property owners to use environmentally friendly pest management and landscape care techniques in place of chemical treatments for their yards and gardens.
In February, Ann Arbor City Council approved the effort to help reduce harmful pesticide and chemical runoff from lawns, gardens and landscaped areas into local waterways (http://a2gov.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4324640&GUID=26C036EC-8497-4F03-8674-AF9D0576260A&Options=ID%7cText%7c&Search=pesticide). “Spring is the season we spend mending our lawns and gardens," said Jennifer Lawson, City of Ann Arbor water quality manager. “The city wants to remind everyone that there are many natural alternatives to pesticides to ward off insects and improve the health of plants, shrubs and grass. Smarter choices today mean fewer chemicals washed tomorrow into storm drains and, eventually, our lakes, rivers and streams."
The city urges homeowners and businesses to minimize chemical usage to control weeds, insects or diseases in lawns, gardens and landscaping. Overuse of pesticides is inconsistent with Ann Arbor values to build and maintain healthy ecosystems and foster stewardship of natural resources.
In addition to reducing chemical applications, the city encourages property owners to keep lawns healthy by maintaining grass levels at 3 inches or higher, mulching grass clippings, aerating compacted soil and reducing thatch buildup. Other suggestions include adding deep-rooted native plants and trees to improve water filtration, watering less, pulling weeds by hand, removing insect eggs from plants and installing landscape fabric and mulch to prevent weed germination.
“These natural methods aren't only good for the environment, but they're also better for your yards and gardens, too," Lawson said.
More ideas on what you can do around your home to promote a safer and healthier environment are available on the city's integrated pest management website.
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