Model Ordinance and Implementation Plan

Beyond Pesticides created this webpage as a sample guide for educational materials for the city of Takoma Park, MD, in response to the ordinance that was passed which restricts pesticide use on private and public property throughout the city. Please note: these documents are educational materials provided by Beyond Pesticides to help the city implement its new policy, and is not Takoma Park's official implementation policy. We hope that you will find these materials useful. If you are interested in working on a similar policy in your community, please contact Beyond Pesticides at 202-543-5450 or email [email protected].

The model implementation plan encourages homeowners, renters, and lawn care professionals to protect the health of people and the environment in the community. The model, with its restrictions on hazardous pesticides being used throughout the community, creates a strong incentive to transition to land management practices that protect the health of the community and the local ecosystems (Please note, this model is for a state with out preemption. Please see the Tools for Change page for more information). The good news is that these practices are easy to adopt! 

Watch a Training Video

Beyond Pesticides teamed up with the City of Takoma Park, MD to create a training with horticulturalist expert and Beyond Pesticides board member Chip Osborne. Watch the three part series on our YouTube playlist.

Maintaining Sustainable Lawns and Landscapes

High quality lawns and landscapes can be achieved with practices that build soil health through natural fertilization and cultural practices, such as soil aeration, mowing height, and timing and volume of water. This approach, which eliminates synthetic fertilizers and nurtures soil microorganisms, is a “feed-the-soil” approach. It centers on the utilization of compost, and microbial food sources. Experience demonstrates that this approach helps to prevent problems that typically arise from chemical-intensive practices by building a soil environment rich in microbial life that, in turn,  produces a strong, healthy lawn able to withstand pressures from heavy usage, insects, weeds, and disease, as well as drought and heat stress.

Pursuant to the model policy, which prohibits the use of certain cosmetic pesticides in a local jurisdiction, this guide, Maintaining Sustainable Lawns and Landscapes, provides the tools and tactics that will promote effective and safe lawn and landscape management.

Establishing New Lawns and Landscapes

The previous publication provides tips for those managing an existing lawn without the toxic materials restricted by the Takoma Park ordinance. A separate guide, Establishing New Lawns and Landscapes, identifies the steps to take in installing a new lawn.

Allowed Pesticides

A key component of the model is the phase-in of restrictions on harmful pesticides, and continued allowance of less toxic, organic pesticides for lawn care on public and private property within the the local jurisdiction. The complied list of allowed pesticides includes those that are:

  1. A pesticide the active ingredients of which are recommended by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) pursuant to 7 U.S.C §6518, as amended, and published as the National List at 7 C.F.R §§ 205.601 and 205.602; or
  2. A pesticide designated as “minimum risk pesticide” under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) §25(b) and listed in 40 C.F.R. §152.25(f).

See the list of Products Compatible with Organic Landscape Management for the list of pesticide products that follow the above criteria.

List of Resources for Healthy, Organic Lawns
All of the resources linked in the documents above.