Four Kane County hardware and garden stores are participating in a first-of-its-kind event on Sunday, May 6, called Chicago Grows Green Retailer Day.
The event, sponsored by the Midwest Pesticide Action Center, is designed to help you find products and tools you need to manage a lawn and garden with limited environmental and health impact.
Kane County participants include:
- Ziegler Ace West Elgin, 1158 Lillian St., Elgin
- Ziegler Ace East Elgin, 215 N Spring St., Elgin
- Geneva Ace Hardware, 617 W State St., Geneva
- Ziegler’s Ace Carpentersville, in Meadowdale Shopping Center, Carpentersville
“For many, management of lawns starts at the point-of-purchase,” said Ruth Kerzee, executive director of the environmental non-profit Midwest Pesticide Action Center. “Natural lawn care products not only benefit the environment, but may provide essential nutrients and organic matter for healthy soil and turf growth that synthetic chemicals do not.”
Natural lawn and garden care products of natural pesticides, organic fertilizers, and more line the shelves of stores across Greater Chicago. MPAC’s MGG initiative points these products out to customers through distinctive green shelf tags.
“Most consumers base their decisions on the cost and convenience of lawn and garden products, as opposed to whether or not the products are needed, sustainably sourced, and friendly to public health and the environment,” Kerzee said. “The presence of MGG staff and volunteers on May 6 redefines convenience by giving customers real-time information on natural lawn and garden care.”
Health Benefits And Risks
There are significant health benefits to using eco-friendly products, as well.
“Pesticide risks are of high concern for our communities in Kane County, particularly for our children who are still developing and exhibit behaviors, such as putting grass in their mouths, that make them susceptible to exposure,” said Theresa Heaton, director of health promotion for Kane County.
Of the 30 most-used lawn pesticides, studies have linked 13 to probable or possible carcinogens, 13 to birth defects, 21 to reproductive effects, 15 to neurotoxins, and 26 to liver and kidney damage. A healthy, green lawn, however, does not require these products and the associated health and environmental risks if lawn managers pay attention to grass health and needs.
Natural Law Care
“MPAC advocates for a natural lawn care approach that stresses and addresses the root causes of weed and pest problems such as poor soil drainage, nutrient deficiency, or soil compaction, as opposed to the symptoms of just applying a weed or pest killing product,” Kerzee said.
On May 6, MGG Retailer Day volunteers will share natural lawn care and organic gardening brochures fact sheets, and insights at participating stores of Crafty Beaver Home Center (Central St, Chicago), Christy Webber Farm & Garden, Seguin Gardens & Gifts, John Millen Hardware, Geneva Ace Hardware, and Ziegler Ace Hardware in Elgin, East Elgin, and Carpentersville.
Find a participating store and follow MGG Retailer Day updates at bit.ly/CGGretday
Want to learn more? MPAC hosts natural lawn care events across the region for Chicago Grows Green Week, May 11 to May 19. The week includes a webinar on composting for sports fields and a sale, Saturday, May 19, of compost tea made by Dig Right In Landscaping Inc. to jump-start your lawn.
People across Greater Chicago can receive up-to-date natural lawn care and organic gardening tips by taking the MGG Pledge to reduce their own synthetic lawn pesticide and fertilizer use at bit.ly/MGGpledge.
“Every commitment helps make our outdoor spaces healthier for our children, pets, and wildlife to live, learn, and play!” Kerzee said.