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Pesticide Free Playgrounds

04/05/2021
Pesticide Free Playgrounds

The city is receiving $25,000 in grants to ensure community spaces are free from the use of chemicals and harmful and synthetic pesticides.

Mayor Ray O’Connell and Allentown Department of Parks & Recreation Director Karen El-Chaar accepted $10,000 from Stonyfield and $15,000 from The GIANT Company during a news conference this morning at Jordan Park.

Stonyfield and GIANT are teaming up with the Department of Parks & Recreation and Non-Toxic Neighborhoods as part of Stonyfield’s #PlayFree initiative, which aims to help convert public parks and playing fields across the country to organic grounds management.

The parks will also receive technical support and guidance underwritten by Stonyfield from Non-Toxic Neighborhoods.

Mayor O’Connell said, “With the donations from Stonyfield and GIANT and technical support from Non-Toxic Neighborhoods, Jordan Park and other sites can undergo the transition to organic grounds management to create a healthier and cleaner recreation space for the community.”

Through Non-Toxic Neighborhoods and Turf Equipment, the city will be testing out a new Herbicide-free Weed Control system called Foamstream.

Foamstream uses hot water and a biodegradable foam made from plant oils and sugars making it safe to use around people, animals, and delicate environments.

It reduces re-growth over time by sterilizing seeds and spores resulting in fewer treatment cycles and less labor over the course of a season.

According to Non-Toxic Neighborhoods Founder Kim Konte, “To date, Non-Toxic Neighborhoods has partnered with more than 200 cities, counties, school districts and universities across the country, to enormous success. We’re proud to report that not a single partner community has resumed the use of synthetic pesticides! Our approach is to educate communities and policy influencers about the importance of soil health, as well the importance of protecting our children, landscape managers, and food supply from the outdated and harmful chemical approach to managing pest pressure.”

Following the combined check presentation on behalf of GIANT and Stonyfield by Whitehall GIANT store manager Dionis Mateo Pujols, GIANT team members, Allentown Police Athletic League, the Rodale Institute and students from Sheridan Elementary School planted six trees and participated in outdoor arts and crafts activities.

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