Petition to ban pesticides on city property gaining signatures

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July 23, 2013
By: Gabrielle Martinson
Gabrielle Martinson
Minneapolis resident launched petition effort last month

A petition to ban the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers on city property in Minneapolis has been gaining momentum.

The petition, posted online at moveon.org, had more than 1,500 signatures by July 23, most of which had been acquired in the previous week. The main goal of the petition is to ban pesticides and chemical fertilizers from all city-owned and city-leased properties.

The petition states that pesticides and chemical fertilizers are harmful to the health of humans, animals and insects as well as natural ecosystems. The chemical runoff can also stream into lakes, rivers and drinking water sources.

Matt Johnson, a Minneapolis resident who started the petition about a month ago, said pesticides include insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and many other chemicals that are sprayed without public knowledge on public properties around the city.

Johnson works with group of advocates who joined together to support the banning of the chemicals after witnessing contractors spraying pesticide on city sidewalks where children play and dogs are walked.

Other cities around the U.S. have also taken steps to control the use of pesticides. Johnson said using organic methods that are not toxic to humans and wildlife are good alternatives to pesticides.

“It’s definitely possible,” Johnson said. “I think the cool thing is that whole (organic) industry is growing right now, so I really just think it comes down to the public saying, ‘Hey this is important to us and we don’t want to take the risk.’”

Johnson said the goal for the petition is to get as many signatures as possible before Minneapolis’ elections this fall, when it will be presented to the city.

To view or sign the petition, visit petitions.moveon.org/sign/lawn-chemical-ban-on.