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Boulder Residents Plan ‘Lay Down’ Protest Against Dandelion Spraying

To Roz Lynn Dorf, not much has changed in the past 40 years.

When U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson called for an environmental teach-in dubbed Earth Day on April 22, 1970, Roz was an undergraduate at the University of Illinois. Her cause célèbre was battling the Dow Chemical Company for its use of toxic products.

“Four decades later on Earth Day, I’ll still be protesting the Dow Chemical Company,” she said during a telephone conversation from her Boulder, Co., home on Tuesday evening.

By Friday morning, Roz plans to lead about 80 of her neighbors in a dramatic, defiant “lay down” when a local pesticide contractor shows up to spray dandelions on the grounds of the condominium complex where she has lived for 21 years. She said she is outraged and “sick to her stomach” that the condo’s Board of Directors is ignoring a petition signed by more than half the condo’s 160 residents.

“Boulder is a place that prides itself on being one of the happiest, healthiest places on earth and it’s a place where the wind can blow a hundred miles an hour, which means the pesticides don’t stay where they’re supposed to stay,” she said. “There’s a Montessori School on our block where the kids are out all day long, and an Open Space Park literally across the street, but our Board doesn’t care at all.”

In a statement from the Board published in the local DailyCamera.com, cost was the main factor in opting to use a pesticide known as “Gallery,” which is manufactured by Dow Chemical.

“The board is well aware that we have a small group of residents who are opposed to spraying any chemicals at all for either turf or landscape maintenance,” the statement reads. “We only reluctantly went, in a unanimous vote, with a conventional contractor and took steps to minimize chemical application.”

That doesn’t go far enough, according to the leader of the lay down.

“When I moved here, we used to pull the weeds by hand and everyone got together and kept things looking good,” said Roz, whose letter to the editor was published in Monday’s local paper. “Then they went to organic herbicides and now they’ve gone to the chemical because it’s the cheapest way to go. But it’s not cheaper than pulling the weeds out now, is it?”

NOTE: Gallery herbicide is listed as a possible carcinogen and water contaminant in the Pesticide Action Network database of pesticides.

About The Author

Paul Tukey

An international leader of the green movement, Mr. Tukey is a journalist, author, filmmaker, TV host, activist and award-winning public speaker, who is widely recognized as North America's leading advocate for landscape sustainability and toxic pesticide reduction strategies.

Number of Entries : 1023
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