A Chemical Reaction, a documentary by Brett Plymale, is making the rounds at various film festivals around the globe. It tracks the rise of the anti-pesticide movement beginning in 1984 when dermatologist Dr. June Irwin discovered a link between her patients' health conditions and their exposure to common lawn pesticides and herbicides. Her determination resulted in the first town council mandated pesticide ban in North America. What has followed in it's wake has been nothing short of a landslide with pesticide bans (specifically cosmetic chemical pesticides like 2,4-D) being outlawed at an increasing rate across Canada and the rise of a worldwide "green" movement.
Another key component of the film is the story of Paul Tukey who I can only describe as the godfather of organic lawn care. I will talk more about him in future posts and an upcoming review of his book The Organic Lawn Care Manual. Through his non-profit organization SafeLawns.org, Mr. Tukey spreads the gospel of natural, organic, pesticide-free, lawn care. I'll admit, I'm smitten with his style of lawn care and am transitioning one of the properties I maintain to organic this spring.