Yesterday was the Good Neighbor Des Moines Kickoff Event. Good Neighbor Iowa is a statewide public education campaign to reduce children’s exposure to commonly-used lawn pesticides. It involves school districts, park managers, childcare centers and other community leaders who are demonstrating that it is possible and practical to manage large areas of turf without the use of pesticides such as herbicides, insecticides or fungicides.
Their ultimate goal is to transform our culture so that we appreciate diverse lawns as a way to protect child health, water quality, and biodiversity. These goals align with Abundant Design's work and I was glad to attend and promote their mission.
Four main tips for a healthy lawn without pesticides:
- Mow high (at least 3”) so that grass develops strong roots to compete against weeds.
- Over-seed and add compost periodically. In Iowa, late Aug-Sept are the best times. If there are bare areas, rough them up and seed them.
- If you have high foot traffic or athletic fields, aerate and seed.
- Consider converting certain lawn areas into native Iowa prairie plants.
For even more resources on natural lawncare practices visit RichSoil.com
Dogpatch Urban Gardens (DUG) hosted the event, with other organizations attending who support Good Neighbor Iowa's mission.
|Kids Yoga in front of DUG's new Hoop House|
|Farm Baby Foods had their local, organic baby and toddler food|
The Cutler Kitchen had energy bites, Brightside Kitchen brought treats and local coffee. Des Moines Children's Museum brought their "Let's Play Outside" exhibit. The Des Moines Water Works provided refillable water bottles to the first 100 guests.
|Urban Ambassadors shared their mission to empower and inspire sustainable living|
I talked to a lot of great people interested in healthy yards, and healthy landscapes like Abundant Design provides. Brandon from Browne Atlas joined me and shared information about their worm castings.
Chatting with visitors interested in sustainable & regenerative land use and permaculture
Good Neighbor Iowa will provide you with a yard sign (in various colors) to show your support and invite conversation with your neighbors.
Here's our yard sign in purple and gold for Waukee, even if they said UNI :)