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Organic land management demo begins in May at Chief Garry Park

Natural Grocers raising funds for the project through April, in collaboration with Beyond Pesticides

Media: Fianna Dickson, 625.6297. Parks & Recreation: 311 or 509.755.2489

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 2:56 p.m.

SPOKANE – An organic land management demonstration project is set to begin next month at Chief Garry Park, through a collaboration with the non-profit Beyond Pesticides, local Natural Grocers stores, and the Spokane City Council’s sustainability initiative.

Through the end of April, shoppers at local Natural Grocers stores can donate to the project, in honor of Earth Day.

“We are pleased to work with Beyond Pesticides and Natural Grocers as part of our pesticide reduction program, as we care for 4,000 acres of healthy parks,” said Garrett Jones, director of Parks & Recreation. “Their generous collaboration pairs nicely with our pollinator gardens, water reduction projects, SpokaneScapes, and ongoing operations to keep our parks thriving.”

The goal of the demonstration project at Chief Garry Park is to further shift from synthetic weed killers and other potential pesticide use to organic practices that rely on methods and products that support soil biology and microbial life in the soil. This approach, used by organic agriculture, naturally produces nutrients for plants, resulting in more resiliency and a reduction in water use.

Natural Grocers’ long-term partnership with Beyond Pesticides resulted in the launch of the "Ladybug Love Your Neighborhoods" campaign, which raises community awareness and directly contributes to local parks, schools, and businesses converting their outdoor spaces to pesticide-free zones. Through the month of April, in honor of Earth Day, local Natural Grocers stores are raising money to support the demonstration project at Chief Garry Park. Funds were also raised for the project last October, and provided enough funding to begin the work.

Spokane Parks & Recreation’s operations staff will attend a technical workshop from Beyond Pesticides in early May, prior to the project.

For the general public, Beyond Pesticides is offering a public forum, Cultivating Healthy Communities: Confronting Health Threats, Climate Disasters, and Biodiversity Collapse with a Toxic-Free Future happening on May 25, June 1, 8 and 15, and a pre-conference session Pesticide Literacy 101: Truth & Advertising on May 24.