What does my lawn have to do with climate change?
A healthy environment–from oceans and watersheds to soils and and shorelines–has higher capacity to adapt to and recover from climate change. The way we care for our lawns and landscapes has a direct influence on the health of these ecosystems, starting with our soils.
Using synthetic pesticides and fertilizers harms pollinators and native species. These products cause excess chemicals to run off into our waterways, worsening water quality, increasing ocean acidification, creating algae blooms, and damaging marine life–which also impacts local fisheries and marine businesses. Plus, pesticides and fertilizers have proven negative effects on our families. Children are especially vulnerable to chemical exposure from lawn products when they play outside. Pesticides and herbicides are also linked to cancer in dogs. By switching to organic lawn and landscape care, we can ensure the health of our community and make our environment more resilience to climate impacts.
Take Climate Action by Maintaining a Healthy Organic Lawn!
Pesticide & Fertilizer Ordinances
Portland and South Portland restrict the use of pesticides, and South Portland additionally restricts the use of fertilizers. In both cities, lawn and garden products that contain synthetic pesticides are prohibited on all public and private property. South Portland also prohibits the use of synthetic fertilizer on turf and lawns. Explore the links below for more information:
City of Portland:
Portland Pesticide Use Ordinance
City of South Portland:
South Portland Pesticide Use Fact Sheet
Transitioning to an Organic Lawn
You can maintain a healthy lawn and landscape without these chemicals by adopting a few basic practices:
1. Start with a soil test to see what your lawn needs.
2. Keep your grass at least 3” long, and leave clippings on the lawn to return nutrients to the soil.
3. Embrace clover and native plants, which resist pests and help improve soil health.
4. Aerate and reseed your lawn in early fall for the best results in our climate.