Activism in your own yard

Green thumbs can be even greener according to Paul Tukey, who will be visiting the Elk Valley during Earth Day week to teach gardeners about organic lawn care.

Green thumbs can be even greener according to Paul Tukey, who will be visiting the Elk Valley during Earth Day week to teach gardeners about organic lawn care.

Tukey is North America’s leading advocate of natural lawn care and will be touring Canada screening his 2009 award-winning film, “A Chemical Reaction.”

The film centres on the town of Hudson, Quebec. Hudson is the first municipality in North America to ban lawn and garden pesticides in 1991. Hudson’s story, as told through the film, has subsequently inspired many other Canadian municipalities.

“The documentary, A Chemical Reaction, is 75 minutes of pure inspiration that a community can come together and overcome great odds to effect change,” said Patti Moore, Health Promotion Coordinator for the Canadian Cancer Society. “Here in the East Kootenays, five communities, including the City of Fernie, have adopted bylaws restricting the use of cosmetic pesticides and more are interested in taking action. Paul Tukey brings extensive knowledge about not only why it’s important to eliminate unnecessary pesticides, but also how we can change our practices to have beautiful, and healthy, lawns and gardens.”

Tukey is an American journalist and lawn care professional, and author of the best-selling book, The Organic Lawn Care Manual. He founded the non-profit Foundation known as SafeLawns.org.

“May 6, 2011, will mark the 20th anniversary of the town of Hudson’s historic ban,” he said. “Now 80 per cent of the nation has followed suit. The entire nation of Canada should be proud of the world lead that the country is taking to protect children from toxic lawn products. What better time than Earth Day to celebrate this accomplishment?”

On Monday at 3 p.m, homeowners are invited to attend a free public workshop at the Fernie Aquatic Centre with organic lawn and garden expert, Paul Tukey.

“We are thrilled to have a speaker of this calibre in our community,” said Cindy Corrigan, Mayor of the City of Fernie.

“The expertise Paul Tukey brings to our community in terms of how we can make the transition to healthy, pesticide-free lawns and gardens will be tremendously valuable.”

On Monday evening, there will be a community screening of the film A Chemical Reaction in Sparwood at the Curling Club Lounge at 7 p.m.  This will also include a discussion and questions and answers with Executive Producer Paul Tukey of SafeLawns.org.

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