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Northwest Lawn & Garden Pesticide Summit Nears


National Leaders Headed to Seattle June 4

With the goal of bringing the anti-pesticide movement from East to West in the United States, leaders of the natural lawn and garden industry will converge in Seattle June 4 for the first Northwest Lawn & Garden Pesticide Summit.

“We see the region of Washington state, Oregon and Idaho as both environmentally sensitive and aware,” said keynote presenter Paul Tukey, the founder of the SafeLawns Foundation. “With the passage of the Child Safe Playing Fields Act last year in New York, it gave us the impetus to try to bring the issue of lawn pesticide safety to a West Coast audience. This is going to be an amazing event.”

With six hours of presentations from environmentalists, health care professionals and state officials, the Summit will be a call to action.

“To me, it’s about creating the political will to relax and allow dandelions to grow,” said Tukey. “This has already happened in Canada, where 80 percent of the nation is protected from products like weed ‘n feed and Roundup. Just to the north of Seattle, in British Columbia, the newly elected Premier, Kristy Clark, made pesticide reduction a campaign issue with her ‘Putting Families First‘ slogan. We need more of that kind of political leadership here in the states.”

The event’s local organizers, the Coalition of Organic Landscape Professionals, will hold the Summit at the University Unitarian Church, at 6556 – 35th Ave NE in Seattle beginning at 9 a.m. The $15 admission fee includes lunch and talks by nationally recognized soil expert Jeff Lowenfels, as well as Paul Marchant from the Washington State Department of Health and numerous representatives of the natural fertilizer and pesticide industry.

Here is the tentative agenda:

9:00-9:10 Welcome and Introduction by COOL

9:10-9:40 Keynote Address by Paul Tukey: “New Legislation, New
Products and a Sustainable Movement”

9:40-10:10 “Pesticides and Children’s Health” – Paul Marchant, Washington State Department of Health

10:10-10:40 The Science of Organic Methods” – Jeff Lowenfels, author of Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web

10:40-10:55 Break

10:55-11:15 “Phosphorous and Clean Water: Lessons We’ve Learned” tentative

11:15-12:10 Changing Ground Panel (moderated by Paul Tukey)
• Organic Policy and Practice – Barb DeCaro, Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation
• Children’s Health – Bernard Alberda, North Seattle Pediatrics
• Landscape Industry Perspective – Don Marshall, Lake Washington Technical College

12:10-12:20 “Pesticide Free Public Spaces” – Peter Blackburn, Local Hazardous Waste Management Program

12:20-1:00 Lunch with informal discussion about legislative action

1:00-2:00 “Organics Works: A Sampling of Available Alternatives to Pesticides”
• Soil nutrition and natural pest management – William C. Sadler, PhD., Sadler’s Natural Solutions
• Botanical technologies – Steven M. Bessette, EcoSMART Technologies
• Biological fungicides for lawns – Matt Kowalski, Natural Industries

2:00-2:30 “Call to Action” – Paul Tukey

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.

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