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The antidote to plastic grass in Sonoma County

"Artificial turf" threatening water quality, creating heat islands. Local organization offering free in-person training to schools on natural turf maintenance.

Well manicured natural grass for sports fields has its challenges: water restrictions makes it difficult to irrigate, weeds can be a constant challenge, and then there's the gopher problem...

The plastic grass industry has found an "in" with communities like ours and is heavily marketing their products to cities and schools as a way to address these challenges. Unfortunately, the claims being made are extremely misleading and fail to mention the serious downsides of installing acres of plastic over our open spaces.

  • Plastic grass contains dangerous chemicals like PFAS and pollutes groundwater

  • Plastic grass creates dangerous heat island effects creating extremely dangerous situations in the summer months and exacerbating the effects of climate change

  • Plastic grass still requires irrigation to remove grime from the surface for sanitary purposes.

  • Plastic grass companies often require pesticide use in the warranty agreement to keep weeds from popping through the surface

  • Plastic grass is not optimal for sports activities and often leads to dangerous injuries.

  • Cities like Boston, MA have banned plastic grass because of its dangerous impacts to community health and the environment. California is considering multiple bills that would curtail the installation of plastic grass.

  • And this is what plastic grass looks like when it hits the landfill...

More information can be found at Safe Healthy Playing Fields

The town of Windsor recently created an informational video on the dangers of plastic grass and why it is not covered under their cash for grass rebate program:

But there is good news! A local organization, Non Toxic Schools, along with Beyond Pesticides is sponsoring a local training for local school maintenance employees on toxic free turf management. This has been a year in the making and promises to provide extremely valuable education to our local school districts. This training will teach our groundskeepers how to maintain pesticide-free turf in a way that is cost effective and toxic free. Pesticide free turf is lush and beautiful...naturally.

As a side effect, this will help to reduce pesticide use, particularly at Sonoma County schools that still rely on pesticides for landscape maintenance. This training is exactly what these schools need to learn new tools from the experts themselves.

Please spread the word about this event and encourage your school to participate. For more information please Piper Perreault:

Showing our landscape managers how to do their jobs without pesticides is the most effective way to creating lasting change in our communities <3

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