Monday, September 27, 2010

Grade schoolers enlisted in anti-pesticide effort

OTTAWA, CANADA — A class of grade-school students at an elementary school in Canada crafted containers of natural slug bait and pesticide-free weed killer. The youngsters sent their classroom concoctions, each with accompanying note to Canadian lawmakers. The notes urged a nationwide ban on pesticide use, said a recent article appearing on,

This is wrong on several levels.

First, there is no such thing as a pesticide-free chemical weed killer. If it’s a chemical and a weed killer, synthetic or natural, it’s a pesticide

But, to the larger issue: While we applaud the students' earnest effort to advance the common good, we don't feel they should be used to advance anyone's personal agenda.

More disturbing was the image accompanying the online article. It showed a grinning Prime Minister Stephen Harper and MP (Member of Parliament) Fin Donnelly posing with one of the student’s creations, implying, whether intentional or not, an endorsement of the students' anti-pesticide message.

Pesticide use in a complicated issue with huge public health and food production issues way beyond the comprehension of most grade schoolers. .... and often it seems politicos, as well.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A great rain garden guide....and it's free!

Nothing attracts Americans' attention as quickly as the phrases "free" and "all you can eat," but this blog isn't about Hometown Buffet. It's about information that can help you prevent runoff and non-point-source pollution on your clients' properties.

You can pay $4.95 for the Oregon Rain Garden Guide or you can download a pdf version of by accessing That version is free.

And, don't fret because the title of the rain garden pub says "Oregon." The 44-page Guide contains great information about designing and installing rain gardens that would be helpful, regardless of where you live or offer services.

Oh, by the way, did I mention that the downloadable version produced by Oregon Sea Grant at Oregon State University is free. Yes, FREE! — Ron Hall