Ask the City to protect open spaces with policy!

Naomi Duerr

Thank you to everyone that showed up to show your support for healthy parks and open spaces at Reno City Public Comment yesterday.

I especially want to thank the couple that made time out of their busy day to share the painful story of the loss of there young son to a form of cancer linked to the use of pesticides/weed killers. This couple has lived in the keystone area community for over 30 years. They have worked hard to build a strong community and get to know everyone that lives there. After their young son got sick with cancer, they started noticing their neighbors were sick as well. This motivated them to keep track of as many neighbors as possible. They learned that clusters of families had sick children and parents as well.  This couple has spent years walking to each home in this large community and getting to know their neighbors. The have a long list of people in this community who are either struggling with cancer and other serious health problems or have lost a loved one. I know it was hard to get up and speak in front of so many people, but your community loves you for your courage and determination.

Our mayor, Hillary Schieve was livid after hearing about the constant pesticide trespass that happens in our city every day and vowed to find a way to stop it. We are meeting in a few weeks to discuss policy to solidify these words.

Also at the public comment were the very people responsible for promoting and training our city employees on how to “safely” use these toxic substances. Big Ag made a huge display at the city council meeting, bringing in the big retail giants, public works crew members, Future “farmers” of America, a local gmo dairy producer, a teacher from the UNR Agro department, a local dietitian, as well as the Nevada Department of Agriculture bringing in 5 of their very best.

Each made a plea for the safety and wonderful uses for these chemicals. The UNR teacher professed his devotion to big ag, speaking about the thousands of studies showing the safety and benefits of using pesticides. He failed to mention, those 3000+ studies were done by the very chemical companies that produce and make BILLIONS of dollars from cities, counties and other municipalities that purchase synthetic fertilizers and pesticides from them each year. View some highlights from their evangelists for chemical industry here.

Our very own Public Works director shocked us all with his comments (see video above). He stated that “We (city of Reno public works) do not use pesticides. How could the director of public works not know that his own employees spray with toxic herbicides everyday?

Sandy Rowley, founder of BeeHabitat.com, summed up all the points made by the chemical industry and corrected the inconsistencies they shared with validated facts easily found online at the CDC, USDA, FDA and World Health Organization websites.

Cory Frey, local citizen who was sprayed in the face accidentally by a city employee, and Lisa Hill, a local member of the community, made awesome points that really made the council sit up and take notice. So much so that they all agreed to help the community keep their open spaces organically managed without toxic pesticides.

City council really listened to our comments and offered real world solutions, even asking Jana Vanderhaar if she would volunteer her time to train city public works employees on best practices in managing land without toxic chemicals. Jana has over 20 years experience in organic land care.

Our mayor and city council were very supportive of our requests and agreed to meet with us next week to discuss implementing policy to protect open space and park areas within Reno from future pesticide miss use.

Please call your city council and thank them for caring about the health of their community.

Mayor and Council:

Hillary Schieve <schieveh@reno.gov>

Neoma Jardon <jardonn@reno.gov>  ****our Ward 5 council person****

Naomi Duerr <duerrn@reno.gov> announced the pesticide-free park initiative

David Bobzien <bobziend@reno.gov> lives in our neighborhood

Jenny Brekhus <brekhusj@reno.gov>

Oscar Delgado <delgadoo@reno.gov>

Paul McKenzie <mckenziep@reno.gov>

City Liasions:

Learn more how other cities in the USA and around the world are switching to organic land management here.