Adopt Safe & Healthy Field Standards in Garden City

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Garden City should protect public health by voluntarily adopting the NYS “Safe Playing Fields” standards and eliminating pesticide use in our Village parks and fields.

As a result of numerous peer-reviewed research studies, in 2010, New York State passed the “Safe Playing Fields” Law forbidding any school or daycare center from applying any pesticide to playgrounds, turf, or athletic or playing fields.

Garden City Schools are in compliance with this mandate and we are asking today for the Village of Garden City to voluntarily adopt the same standards for our Village fields.  After all, the same children are using both spaces.  It is our obligation to look at the research and make this informed decision to protect our community from known dangers.

There are NO safe pesticides

The potential harm from pesticides is especially important to consider because children are at greater risk from chemical exposure than adults. Diseases connected to pesticide exposure include asthma, autism and learning disabilities, birth defects and reproductive dysfunction, diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and over 25 types of cancer.

There are 117 pesticide-related chemicals in our water supply

According to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) report “Pesticide Active Ingredients and Degradates Detected in Long Island Groundwater Between 1996 and 2010” continued monitoring has shown that 117 pesticide-related chemicals have been detected in Long Island's groundwater at various locations since 1997.

Approximately half of these are "legacy compounds" (from pesticides no longer or never registered for use on Long Island or in New York State).  The presence of legacy compounds demonstrates that some pesticides can persist in the aquifer for considerable periods of time.


While the problem is complex, the solution is quite simple.  The Cornell Safe Sports Fields initiative, in conjunction with New York State, offers a plan for mowing, watering, fertilizing, cultivating, overseeding and top dressing fields.  This process eliminates our reliance on pesticides while maintaining the high-quality fields Garden City expects.

Over 115 communities in 21 states, across the country, including in New York, have taken similar, proactive local action to protect their communities from the known adverse effects of pesticides.

We are now calling on our elected leaders in the Village to move swiftly and adopt a non-pesticide policy, in line with the NYS Safe Fields law for schools and day care centers.