March 30 is Take a Walk in the Park Day. Celebrate with a walk in one of King County’s many pesticide-free parks.
Pesticide-free parks offer a safer play environment for young children who are especially vulnerable to many kinds of chemicals. To find out which parks near you are pesticide-free, use the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program’s map. You can search by zip code or city.
Why be concerned about pesticides in parks? Young children are especially vulnerable to many kinds of harmful chemicals. They eat, drink, and breathe more per pound of body weight than adults do. Their organs and systems are continuously developing as they grow. Chemical exposure can have lifetime effects.
Pesticides also endanger our environment. Rain carries pesticides into local waterways, where salmon, water bugs, and water quality can be affected. Chemicals meant for pests can also harm bees and other beneficial insects. Pets may also be affected or poisoned by pesticides, and they may carry pesticides into the home on their feet and fur.
At home, consider taking the following actions:
- Try natural yard care techniques to create an attractive lawn and garden with less pesticide use.
- Choose the least toxic yard and garden products with Grow Smart, Grow Safe.
- Read labels and use fewer hazardous chemicals.
- Buy safer toys and art supplies.
Also, ask your school or childcare center about its pesticides-use policy.