Citizens for a Green Camden invites townspeople to watch their town turn greener, and safer, with a map in the window of the town office. As property owners pledge to not use toxic lawn chemicals for cosmetic reasons on their lawns, their properties are colored in green on the map. More than 400 residents and business owners have already taken this pledge. The goal is for the entire map to be green — and the entire town to be safe from dangerous and unnecessary lawn chemicals.

Awareness about the dangers of lawn chemicals is spreading quickly through town. Six out of six local pediatricians agree that lawn chemicals pose an inordinate risk to children. The town of Camden does not use lawn chemicals on town-owned property, after a unanimous vote by the select board two years ago. Camden is a safe lodging town, with every one of its lodging establishments taking the pledge. Safe lawns can also be found at the town’s health care facilities and rental complexes, including Quarry Hill, Merry Gardens, Highland Park, Applewood and Camden Village Apartments.

One of the most common ingredients in lawn care chemicals, 2,4-d, is on a list released in early July by the Minnesota Department of Health identifying the most potentially harmful chemicals in commerce. Exposure to pesticides applied to lawns has been linked to cancer, neurological and reproductive disorders, Parkinson’s disease, miscarriage rates, and birth defects. These chemicals are also dangerous to dogs.

Property owners can pledge not to use lawn care chemicals, and get on the map, by stopping by the town office. For more information visit citizensforagreencamden.org.