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Grassroots Action
March/April 2006

Actions of theMonth: Safe Lawn Door-Hanger Campaign Spring Alert

Download Materials

It’s here! Just in time for spring and those little yellow pesticide caution signs. The Door-Hanger is the next activist tool to help spread the word about the dangers of lawn pesticides and the ever-increasing availability of alternatives. Its an easy, non-confrontational way to approach neighbors you suspect are using pesticides.

Grassroots groups across the country will use the Door-Hangers in different ways depending on their capacity. Here we offer some ideas for incorporating the Door-Hanger into your campaign activities:

1. Take Action! Order your Door-Hangers.
2. If you represent an organization, put a 1 x 2 5/8 label in the designated area on back of the hanger with contact information.
3. Determine how you want to get these out in your community:

  • Organize a door-to-door campaign
  • Put a copy of the pdf on your web for others to download and cut out
  • Distribute them at fairs and events such as Earth Day
  • Ask local Health Centers, Doctors and Veternarians to distribute
  • Use in mailings like your annual gift campaign

4. Send out a local press release. We will send participants a model release this friday.

This “Spring Alert” flyer was originally produced by Port Washington Citizens for Alternatives to Pesticides (now Grassroots Environmental Education), and has been used as a key piece of their 10-year public outreach efforts in New York. The Spring Alert has been used or adapted by many communities here and in Canada including the Marblehead Pesticide Awareness Committee (MPAC) that worked with their town Board of Health to sponsor its version, shown on next page.

“We update it every year by using different quotes from medical experts and get it out in as many schools as we can, says Patti Wood, Executive Director of Grassroots Environmental Education. “We have it sponsored by Departments of Health, local municipalities or politicians. This year, as part of our Grassroots Healthy Lawn Program, we distributed 65,000 copies to every school district and pre-K in Westchester county!” See www.grassrootsinfo.org/pub/springalert.pdf and the Spanish version at www.grassrootsinfo.org/pub/springalert_spanish.pdf.

Pat Beckett, Co-chair of MPAC, says, “We always felt the little yellow warning signs on lawns, were “too little, too late” in terms of pesticide awareness. As part of our “Awareness through Education” campaign with the Board of Health, the Board sent out the Spring Alert in the following ways: through the school system with a copy going home in each child’s school bag; through a general mailing to every household; and, once as a public service announcement in our local newspaper. I think the Spring Alert would also make a great hand-out for local realtors to give to new homeowners in town.”


1. Download a generic version and add your local information.
2. Get it endorsed by your local or county health department.
3. Find Partners and medium to send it out, some suggestions include:

  • Superintendant of Schools- kids take-home letter
  • Municipal Officials (Health or Water Department)- through property tax, water bills
  • Community Health Centers – office flyer
  • Newspaper, Television or Radio - public service announcement
  • Real Estate Agencies – new homebuyer packages
  • Pediatrician/Doctors Offices – office flyers
  • Veternarian Offices – office flyers

Let us know your ideas and we will add them to this list.