The village of Sparwood welcomed lawn expert Paul Tukey with an electronic greeting spanning the town’s entrance.
After a whirlwind five-day tour that included more than 20 speeches, professional and homeowner training sessions, movie screenings and school assemblies, the Kootenay region of British Columbia in Canada appeared ready to join the vast majority of their countrymen and say no to synthetic lawn and garden pesticides.
Hosted by the Canadian Cancer Society and Wildsight, the SafeLawns tour through the mountainous region just to the west of Alberta included the Elk Valley on Monday April 18, Golden and Invermere on Tuesday April 19, Kimberley on Wednesday April 20, and Cranbrook on Thursday April 21.
“Here in the East Kootenays four communities have adopted cosmetic pesticide bans and more are interested in taking action,” said Patti Moore, health promotion coordinator for the Canadian Cancer Society. “Paul Tukey’s visit showed everyone from the golf course superintendents, to the municipal workers and homeowners what is possible to achieve without toxic substances. I know he really opened some eyes.”
Here are a few more shots of the SafeLawns tour that celebrated the 20th anniversary of North America’s first-ever lawn and garden pesticide ban in the town of Hudson, Quebec . . .
Among Sparwood’s claims to fame is the world’s largest truck.
These Kootenay children were proud to be pesticide free.
Students at the Invermere High School help grow and prepare organic meals year-round at the school’s own greenhouse facility.
Municipal leaders in Invermere joined the festive dinner.
The meal, which included organic greens and vegetarian lasagna, was nothing short of spectacular.
Invermere Mayor Gerry Taft celebrated his town’s pesticide prohibition during his speech introducing SafeLawns Founder Paul Tukey.
Marion Stotts, left, and Heather Leschied helped organize the dinner and movie with North America’s leading natural lawn proponent.
Paul Tukey addresses the auditorium crowd in Invermere during his how-to informational session after the screening of the award-winning film, A Chemical Reaction.
The Canadian Cancer Society’s Patti Moore and Robyn Duncan toured a local organic garden (where the snow was still evident!).
All the students K-5 at the Amy Woodland Elementary School were treated to an Earth Day assembly titled Did You Know You Can Eat Your Lawn presented by Paul Tukey.
Tukey then made his way across town for a second assembly for the students of TM Roberts Elementary School.
Students were prepared with signs and speeches of their own for the big day.
The Cancer Society and Wildsight hope Tukey’s visits will bring more villages in British Columbia to post signs like this one.
What a spectacular region . . . and as Tukey kept reminding us, it’s important to keep it that way.