Downloadable info - click for more info on pesticides

Get a lush and healthy yard with these simple steps: Read Pesticide-Free Zone from Clean Water Action.


NRDC is spearheading an effort to reduce the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in NY State by lobbying legislators to enact new restrictions. If you don't yet know about this class of chemical, you must! Start by watching NRDC's new, user-friendly vid. Learn more at Beyond Pesticides.

Neonics are toxic to bees and other insects and become systemic in the plants they're applied to, and even when applied as a seed coating. Be sure to source uncoated seeds or your flowers may kill the pollinators you're trying to attract.

The movie The Pollinators is also a must-see, riveting film on the bee industry.

Did you know?

More than 2.25 million pounds of pesticides are applied in Westchester County every year. Westchester has the second-highest use in New York State, after suburban Long Island. We are tracking these chemicals into our homes on our shoes and pets’ paws, and we - and our children - are breathing them in.

Pesticides endanger human health, especially children’s.

Home pesticide exposure increases the risk of leukemia, brain and other cancers in children, and has been linked to asthma and developmental delays. Pesticides disrupt endocrine and immune systems and increase the risk of breast, thyroid and prostate cancers in adults. NYS banned herbicides on school playing fields and playgrounds - why would you apply them to your yard?

Pesticides harm our pets.

Dogs and cats exposed to pesticides have a higher risk of malignant cancers: the use of professionally applied pesticides was associated with a significant 70% higher risk of canine malignant lymphoma. Link to study.

Pesticides harm the environment.

Pesticides kill bees, birds and other pollinators that plants need to reproduce. Pesticides get into the water we drink and the food we eat. You may buy organic food for your children, seeking to limit their exposure to pesticides. Why would you then expose them - and the rest of the creatures in our ecosystem - to pesticides where they play? Pesticides get on hands that from there into their mouths - and shoes on lawns track pesticides inside.


We recognize that sometimes the use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides is essential, for instance to control an invasive pest, but most uses are not necessary and many are ineffective. In addition, they are often applied incorrectly.

But What about Ticks?

Using pesticides for ticks reduces the number of ticks but does not help reduce incidence of tick diseases. Link to study

Take action!

  1. Stop using pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides in your home and in your yard. Even those listed as ‘organic’ may not be safe.

  2. Find out what chemicals your landscaper is applying and ask them to eliminate their use on your property. Check out this info on lawn chemicals - and the links at page bottom - there's one specifically on Weed and Feed.

  3. Treat all chemicals with care.

For more information about the effects of pesticides and alternatives visit:

The Great Healthy Yards Project

Beyond Pesticides


Check out this article on how you can get a lush and healthy yard without needing any pesticides and without endangering your health: Pesticide-Free Zone from

Here's More You Can Do: No Mow May

Join us in not mowing your lawn this spring, to allow early foragers more range. The blooms that come up in your lawn provide food for early pollinators when there is little else blooming to feed them.

The No Mow May initiative started in Britain and has spread around the world (see this NY Times article). More and more communities are joining the call to give nature a moment to catch her breath. All you have to do is to not mow right away (feel free to mow a path through your lawn).

You can now identify your no-mow yard with one of our no-mow signs. These are available for purchase at any of our events and at the Village's Municipal Building, 7 Maple Avenue (order online and pickup). Thanks to Hastings' Own Kimi Weart for the beautiful design!

More: this article from the Xerces Society gives an overview; this one from USDA Forest Service presents a study on pollinator prevalence in suburban yards and mowing practices, and finds greater diversity of pollinators in areas where mowing is reduced, or read this article from Schenectady's Daily Gazette.

Pollinator populations bounce back quickly when given a chance. We're eager to see what happens in Hastings when we mow less. Should be interesting!