Pesticides are chemicals that are used to control, destroy and repel unwanted insects. These chemicals are often used for a number of purposes, such as increasing the quality and quantity of agricultural crops, preserving our forest and improving the look and feel of residential lawns and gardens.
There is a concern, however, that pesticides may have negative effects on human and animal health. As a result of these concerns, the Province of Ontario has implemented a ban on cosmetic pesticides under the Pesticide Act which took effect on April 22, 2009.
This means that it is illegal to use pesticides on your lawn or garden for aesthetic purposes anywhere in Ontario. The purpose of this ban is to reduce pollution and protect the health of both families and animals from toxic chemicals.
The Town of Richmond Hill has been committed to protecting the environment through promoting pesticide free lawn care alternatives.
The Town aims to promote these alternatives through:
- Increasing public awareness about pesticide alternatives using brochures, fact sheets and workshops. The Organic Lawn Care Workshops are held to assist residents adapt to the new pesticide ban through alternative lawn care practices. The workshops are held four times a year; twice in the spring and twice in the fall. Check the Town’s event calendar for upcoming workshops.
- Implementing a test site at the south lawn of Central Library to demonstrate alternative lawn and garden care techniques [PDF] and the results of such techniques.
- Richmond Hill’s Healthy Yards Program, held once a year, to promote low maintenance and organic lawn care practices and plantings of native tree and plant species. Check the Town’s event calendar for the next Healthy Yards event.
For more information about the ban, please contact the Ministry of the Environment’s Public Information Centre at 1-800-565-4923 or 416-325-4000 or visit www.Ontario.ca/pesticideban