SafeLawns Movement Heads West
National Organic Lawn Expert to Visit Durango
Town Will Screen Film A Chemical Reaction
DURANGO, CO. — With Durango’s elected officials facing an upcoming vote on the Organically Managed Parks Ordinance, a group of local citizens has invited the nation’s leading expert on the subject to visit the city Aug. 20-21.
Paul Tukey, founder of SafeLawns.org and author of the best-selling book, The Organic Lawn Care Manual, will be on hand for a screening of his Emmy nominated film, A Chemical Reaction, followed by a Question and Answer session at the Smiley Building. The free event, titled “Play it Safe: Support Organic Parks Ordinance Durango!,” begins at 6 p.m., with the film screening at 7 and Tukey’s talk at approximately 8:15.
Tukey, who has assisted with the passage of pesticide reduction legislation across the United States and Canada, said he’s excited to see the initiative in the Southwestern region of the United States.
“This is such an environmentally sensitive area, with water such a precious resource, and that makes it especially important to look at all the alternative methods for keeping landscapes beautiful,” said Tukey. “Most of Canada has eliminated products like weed ’n feed and Roundup from everyday use because they’re dangerous. They cause well-documented health problems. The states of New York and Connecticut have removed those products from school grounds and playing fields, as have dozens of other communities across the U.S. I’m excited to join that conversation in Durango.”
Local organizers said Tukey has agreed to meet informally with any interested parties, including city council members, throughout the day prior to the expected vote on Aug. 21. The proposed ordinance is not a ban on synthetic chemical pesticides, but rather an integrated pest management approach that still allows for synthetic treatments when public health issues are involved.
“We are honored to host Paul Tukey, natural lawn care and environmental health expert, to share his expertise with the Durango community,” said local organizer Tricia Gourley. “His presentation will bring to light the urgency and importance of making the transition to managing our parks and public land organically. He’ll educate us about the alternatives, the costs and the likely outcomes. It’s going to be a great educational opportunity for everyone involved, from our councilors, to our local professionals as well as our residents.”
The Organically Managed Parks Ordinance is currently being reviewed by the Durango City Council. Two city council meetings are scheduled for Aug. 7 and Aug. 21, with the Council is set to make a decision on the issue on the 21st. If the ordinance is not adopted it will be on the November City of Durango Ballot.
The Play it Safe: Support Organic Parks Durango! event is FREE. Food is provided by local vendors and there will be a silent auction prior to the film from 6-7 p.m. Paul’s DVDs and books will be available at the event.