Healthy And Pesticide-Free Lawns – Workshop

lawn and pesticide workshop in fernie and sparwood
Healthy and Pesticide-free Lawns

Elk Valley joined by Special Guest Speaker to host
Fernie Workshop and Sparwood Film Screening

Fernie/Sparwood– With the natural lawn and garden trend sweeping the nation, residents of the Elk Valley also deserve to be protected from cosmetic pesticides. The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and the Pesticide Free Columbia Basin network in partnership with the District of Sparwood and the City of Fernie invite residents to learn about how cosmetic pesticides affect our health and the environment, and to learn about effective alternatives that create healthy lawns and gardens.

On April 18th at 3 pm, homeowners are invited to attend a free how-to public workshop in the multi-purpose room of the Fernie Aquatic Centre with organic lawn and garden expert, Paul Tukey. Author of the Organic Lawn Care Manual and Executive Producer of the award winning documentary A Chemical Reaction, Tukey is also winner of the prestigious Horticultural Communicator of the Year Award from the American Horticultural Society. His enthusiasm and extensive knowledge turns the subject of lawn care into a rousing public discourse. He has been featured in thousands of media outlets from Martha Stewart and Good Morning America in the U.S., to the CBC in Canada, as well as National Geographic, Readers Digest and the New York Times, which called him “The godfather of the natural lawn care movement.”

In the Kootenay region, the District of Invermere, the City of Nelson, the City of Kimberley, the Town of Golden, and the City of Fernie have all adopted by-laws restricting the use of cosmetic pesticides.   “We are thrilled to have a speaker of this calibre in our community,” says 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 health, pesticide-free lawns and gardens will be tremendously valuable.”

That evening, a community film screening of the documentary A Chemical Reaction followed by a community dialogue and Q &A with Paul Tukey will take place at 7:00 pm at the Sparwood Leisure Centre Curling Club Lounge.   The film ‘A Chemical Reaction’ tells the story of a powerful community initiative that eventually resulted in Canada’s first by-law to ban the use of all chemical pesticides and herbicides, in the town of Hudson, Quebec. The by-law withstood a challenge by the chemical industry in the Supreme Court of Canada and so far the provinces of Quebec and Ontario have implemented provincial bans on the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides. Over 170 Canadian municipalities have adopted similar by-laws.

Pesticide Free Columbia Basin volunteer Suzanne Wemp notes that, “A Chemical Reaction is 70 minutes of pure inspiration. A community can come together and overcome great odds to effect significant change.”

More information about the film A Chemical Reaction can be found at The Pesticide Free Columbia Basin network also has a regional website at which features information about pesticides, related health and environmental risks, as well as information about healthier lawn and garden maintenance practices.

The Fernie how-to lawn and garden workshop with Paul Tukey is free to attend.  The screening of A Chemical Reaction in Sparwood is admission by donation.  The film is family friendly and child care will also be available by donation. The organizers encourage everyone to attend and learn more about how individuals and communities can work together to reduce pesticide use.

For more information contact Patti Moore at the Canadian Cancer Society at 1-800-656-6426 or at

For more information:
Patti Moore, Health Promotion Coordinator
Canadian Cancer Society
Phone: 250-426-8916
Toll Free: 1-800-656-6426
Mobile: 250-417-6527.


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