Tag Archives: reno nv

10,000 Organic Lawns in Reno


Join me at 1 Million Cups on February 15th @ 9 am, to learn about our most exciting project to help create 10000 homes as organic pollinator corridors in Washoe County. Free coffee and treats served.

Learn how we are helping to create 10,000 organic front & back yards throughout Reno Nevada.

Located at Swill Coffee & Wine in Reno Nevada.

Address: Moana West Shopping Center, 3366 Lakeside Ct, Reno, NV 89509

Want to help our mission? Call Sandy at 775 453 6120 or email her at sandy  @  bee habitat .com




Naomi Duerr

Ask the City to protect open spaces with policy!

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.

This Wednesday @ Reno City Hall!

From Lisa Hill – Reno, Nv

Please consider submitting comments about the recent use of 2,4-D in the West Wash Dam area near Keystone Ave. for the Wednesday June 8 Reno City Council meeting.
You may submit comments by:
  • using an electronic public comment form by clicking this link.
  • writing to the contacts below, or
  • attending the meeting which starts at 10 am.  Public comment starts shortly thereafter.  Fill out a public comment card and give to the proctor.

Pesticide reno nv 2016The herbicide, associated with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (a blood cancer) and sarcoma (a soft-tissue cancer), was distributed via blower specifically NOT recommended by state ag officials near private residences due to drift.  One of our neighbors experienced illness after being spraying in her back yard.  For some reason, spray was distributed late in the weed cycle with questionable benefit.

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:

Meeting Details:

June 8 Reno City Council meeting: 
June 14 Ward 5 NAB meeting:
  • The Ward 5 NAB meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month from 5:30 – 7:30 pm in the Council Chambers, located on the 1st floor of Reno City Hall, One East 1st Street.
  • Public comment is held at the beginning of the meeting.  If you would like to speak, fill out a form and give it to the proctor.  You will have 3 minutes to speak. Keep in mind that speaking publicly is impactful.  Our council person Neoma Jardon usually attends this meeting.  It is smaller than a city council meeting and you will get more attention at this meeting.
Parking is available on the top floors of the Cal Neva lot, metered street parking, or downtown parking lot.

Thanks for your consideration.

Lisa Hill

Information about 2,4-D (or do your own research):
Source:  The Natural Resources Defense Council

2,4-D: The Most Dangerous Pesticide You’ve Never Heard Of

This toxic herbicide comes with known health risks, but it’s still being used on crops, in parks, and maybe even in your own backyard.

March 15, 2016

  • Danielle Sedbrook

One of the cheapest and most common weed killers in the country has a name you’ve probably never heard: 2,4-D. Developed by Dow Chemical in the 1940s, this herbicide helped usher in the clean, green, pristine lawns of postwar America, ridding backyards everywhere of aesthetic undesirables like dandelion and white clover. But 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, as it’s known to chemists, has a less wholesome side. There’s a growing body of scientific evidence that the chemical poses a danger to both human health and the environment.

Gavin Baker Photography/Shutterstock

The pesticide, which allows not just grasses but also fruits and vegetables to flourish, can attack both the roots and leaves of weeds by making the unwanted plant’s cells grow out of control—sort of like inducing cancer in the plant to kill it or drastically slow its spread. It’s used widely in agriculture in soybean, corn, sugarcane, and wheat fields, and it turns up in most “weed and feed” products as well as in many lawn treatments. The problem is, the herbicide that was once considered clean and green may no longer be safe by today’s standards.

The evidence is slowly mounting—but not yet conclusive. It’s not always easy to determine whether a particular substance is causing harm or just happens to be present when some other agent is to blame. Public health experts can’t always draw a firm conclusion from studies whose methodologies are lacking in scientific rigor. Take the link between chronic exposure to 2,4-D and cancer: “The evidence isn’t clear enough to draw conclusions with confidence, but it is better to take precautions to prevent possible cancers than to wait for more evidence,” says Jennifer Sass, an NRDC senior scientist.

Researchers have observed apparent links between exposure to 2,4-D and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (a blood cancer) and sarcoma (a soft-tissue cancer). But both of these can be caused by a number of chemicals, including dioxin, which was frequently mixed into formulations of 2,4-D until the mid-1990s. Nevertheless, in 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer declared 2,4-D a possible human carcinogen, based on evidence that it damages human cells and, in a number of studies, caused cancer in laboratory animals.

More conclusive is the proof that 2,4-D falls into a class of compounds called endocrine-disrupting chemicals, compounds that mimic or inhibit the body’s hormones. Laboratory studies suggest that 2,4-D can impede the normal action of estrogen, androgen, and most conclusively, thyroid hormones. Dozens of epidemiological, animal, and laboratory studies have shown a link between 2,4-D and thyroid disorders. “That’s really important when we’re thinking about development,” says Kristi Pullen, a staff scientist in NRDC’sHealth program. “Our thyroid works to ensure the proper timing and development of the brain.”

There are reports that 2,4-D can decrease fertility and raise the risk of birth defects. But even though fetuses, infants, and children are at highest risk of these, no studies have looked directly at the effects of 2,4-D on those groups.

Despite concerns about potential health risks, in 2014 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the combined use of 2,4-D and the popular weed killer Roundup (also known as glyphosate, a whole other—and in many ways more worrying—story when it comes to health and the environment). Enlist Duo, as the combo is called, was already legal in several states. It is used mainly on big farms, where it is sprayed on genetically modified crops called Enlist soy and Enlist corn that have been engineered to be resistant to the poisons.

In other words, farmers can now douse their fields with high concentrations of the weed killer without worrying that it will also destroy their crops. Originally, plants genetically engineered to resist Roundup were sprayed with that herbicide alone. But when the weeds it was intended to kill also developed resistance, 2,4-D was added to make the mix more effective. As Pullen puts it, “These chemicals by themselves can be problematic, but when we start combining them with other toxic chemicals, we’re just creating a new problem in order to solve another problem.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that by 2020, the use of 2,4-D on America’s farms could rise between 100 percent and 600 percent now that it has been approved as part of Enlist Duo. According to Pullen, “When you combine increased use with the potential for increased developmental, cancer, and other health impacts, you could create a perfect storm of hazard and exposure coming together.”

Also problematic: 2,4-D sticks around in the environment. Depending on the formulation, it can drift through the air from the fields where it is sprayed or be tracked inside homes by pets or children. By the EPA’s own measure, 2,4-D has already been detected in groundwater and surface water, as well as in drinking water. Australian scientists reported in 2012 that it was found in more than 90 percent of samples taken from agricultural catchments bordering the Great Barrier Reef—bad news for many fish, for whom the herbicide can be toxic. It can also poison small mammals, including dogs who can ingest it after eating grass treated with 2,4-D.
The easiest way to avoid 2,4-D is to avoid the products that contain it. You can ask your town whether 2,4-D is used in specific parks. You can also visit the website of the National Pesticide Information Center, which has easy-to-read fact sheets on 2,4-D and most other pesticides. If you think you, your child, or your pet have been in contact with plants recently treated with 2,4-D or any other pesticide, contact a poison-control center.

Pollinator Corridor & Art Gardens throughout Reno Nevada!

Convert Unsightly Vacant Lots in Reno to Pollinator Art Garden Walking Tours

The City of Reno currently has hundreds of vacant lots being managed on city budget. We are working to create a beautiful and creative use for these properties… a city wide pollinator corridor with native, USDA Certified organic flowers, trees & shrubs as well as one unique art sculpture for each park! (Yes, there is a difference in USDA Certified organic flowers versus the conventionally grown flowers laced with bee killing pesticides) Reno is Art Town and these beautiful art gardens will continue to add flavor, style and passion to once vacated and unsightly parts of the city. These Art gardens do not require huge budgets to maintain as they are designed to be self sustaining.


Why Art Garden Walking Tours in Reno?

Eco tourism is one of the fastest growing segments in tourism. These pollinator corridors will create beautiful spaces that protect habitat for native pollinators as well as add interest to otherwise blighted areas within the city.  At each of these mini parks, we would like to feature one sculpture piece along with signage educating public on organic land management practices as well as listing the sponsors and supporters of this collaborative project. Tourist attractions in the US generate millions of dollars per year for local economies. Out of all the top attractions in the US, over 80% of them are state parks, open spaces and gardens.

Eco tourism generates over, $900 BILLION annually and is the fastest growing segment in tourism. Over 90% of American tourists expect active protection of environment in the cities they visit. source responsibletravel.org

reno vacant lots

From empty, trash filled vacant lots too beautiful art pieces that create a sense of community for humans and pollinators alike.


Currently, the City of Reno has over a thousand vacant lots, hundreds are available to buy or lease. We would love to see the city and/or a large organization manage these eco-toursim parks. Who could you recommend that could help get this dream of the ground? We have spoken with several leaders in our community all of which were excited about the idea. We need further guidance on how best to achieve this.

We have organic landscape designers, architects and land planners within the group who have years of experience in creating self sustaining and eye catching designs that ensure minimal maintenance, water and pest management. A healthy eco system requires up to 90% less water than a conventional  (conventional = use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides) managed pieces of land.

With a little elbow grease and common sense, we could really create something special to add to the thriving art scene in Reno.


Would you like to Bee a part of this beeYoutiful project for Reno? Call Sandy Rowley at 775 453 6120 or email her sandy @ bee habitat . com  We need sculptures, gardeners, marketers and any other do’ers you can think of. 🙂 

A BIG THANK YOU to local Bronze Artist Mischell Riley for donating a beautiful sculpture for one of the art gardens in Reno!

*Remember to buy certified organic seeds & plants to help save our bees & pollinators. Learn more on how seeds & plants, even pollinator friendly plants are killing bees: http://www.foe.org/system/storage/877/60/a/3130/Gardeners_beware_report_8-13-13_final_updated.pdf

View sculptures and pollinator friendly flowers, trees and shrubs for our local area in Reno Nevada : https://www.pinterest.com/savethebeesnow/pollinator-sculpture-parks/

The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall. Cutting flower garden. Cornflower, Centaurea cyanus with Cosmos

The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall. Cutting flower garden. Cornflower, Centaurea cyanus with Cosmos

pollinator gardens reno nv



reno art sculptures reno nv sculpture parks


We would like to partner with local artists, organizations and the city to create a vibrant eco attraction that benefits nature and people by putting to good use, vacant lots, artistic talent and the ingenuity of devoted and passionate members of our community.


The following people have voiced their support, excitement and devotion to help make this project a success.


Naomi Duerr – Reno City Council

Christine Fey – Reno City Arts

Mischell Riley – Bronze Artist

Lori Miles, SR/WA Property Program Technician/Public Works

Jana Vanderhaar – Landscape Architect Verdant Connections

Michelle Hunt – US Fish & Wildlife

Gwen Bourne – Galena Visitor Center & Great Basin Institute

Mellissa Gilbert – Wild Honey Home Arts

Gina Russo – Permaculture & Organic Educator

Beyond Pesticides – National Non Profit

Barbara Rainey – Pollinator supporter

Ann and Curt Yow – Local wildlife advocates

Joel Lippart – Local organic garden and pollinator enthusiast

Linda Allison – Local organic land care specialist

Jill Marlene – Local vocalist, artists and advocate for the bees

Pat Campbell-Cozzi – Owner of Wildflower Village and local Pollinator Habitat

Diego Hernandez-Chavarin – Local organic land care

Mary Macdonald – Local artist and pollinator advocate

Jessica Williams – Local apiary/pollinator landscape designer

Daniela Sonnino – KOH Radio Host


View more city parks and sculptures from around the world as well as plants that are suitable to our environment here: https://www.pinterest.com/savethebeesnow/pollinator-sculpture-parks/











Sandy Rowley


organic lawn care

City of Reno Pesticide Free Parks

Reno Nevada Working towards Pesticide free!

Sandy Rowley, a local activist, worked for the better part of a year to educate local authorities on pollinator friendly alternatives to managing school playgrounds, parks and public spaces.

She secured a national non profit, Beyond Pesticides and their experts in organic land care to train over 45 municipalities throughout Northern Nevada. KUNR Story here.

Currently we have these locations in a transition period for organic land care:

State Capitol Building for Nevada

State Legislature Nevada

3 large use public parks in Carson City Nevada

13 large use parks in Reno Nevada

2 large use parks in Sparks Nevada

1 Elementary School in Sparks Nevada

1 Elementary School in Fernley Nevada

Working on 60 schools in the state of Wisconsin

Mt. Rose Pesticide Free Pollinator Corridor

Washoe Valley Pesticide Free Pollinator Corridor

and several other pesticide free and organic land care projects in the works.

Sandy Rowley is an independent contractor available for hire to create pollinator friendly marketing initiatives, education, public speaking and healthy partnerships to create sustainable eco systems. 775 453 6120

KTVN Channel 2 – Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video –






beyond pesticides

Pesticide Free Parks in Northern Nevada and Beyond!

beyond pesticides

news reno pesticides
Reported by: Jaime Hayden

City of Reno beginning pesticide free pilot program

RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) — A pesticide free training took place at Reno City Hall Tuesday. City officials learned alternative ways to keep Reno parks green, but with more natural products.

“We just want to get out ahead of the curve, to the extent we can, and protect our citizens,” said Reno Councilwoman Naomi Duerr.

The city of Reno is implementing a pesticide free pilot program at Reno parks. “We have 86 parks in Reno and what we are doing is moving out with 12 of them on a trial basis, experimental basis, to see if we can go pesticide free.”

Instead, parks will use more natural soil. Duerr believes the program is vital to our community. “We’re learning more about the impacts of chemicals both on our soil and on people, we want our parks to be as welcoming and safe as possible, and it’s a city council initiative.”

Duerr says the main goal of the program is to make Reno parks safer and more natural for kids to play in. “I think that would be wonderful, if they can find a way to do it more naturally and keep our parks still green and playable with playable surfaces, I think that would be wonderful,” said local mom Morningstar Helvey.

Beyond Pesticides, a non-profit group, explained to officials about the dangers of using chemicals. “We’re concerned about elevated rates of asthma in children and learning disabilities, and autism and long term effects such as cancer,” said Jay Feldman.

read full article on News 4 website here: http://www.mynews4.com/news/local/story/City-of-Reno-beginning-pesticide-free-pilot/DjzP_8LT6kStMYejN8ruOQ.cspx


Reno Nv Bees

Reno Garden Shops : Selling Poisonous Flowers?

Bad Buzz: Studies Say Neonic Pesticides Hurt Wild Bees

A common type of pesticide is dramatically harming wild bees, according to a new in-the-field study that outside experts say may help shift the way the U.S. government looks at a controversial class of chemicals.

But in the study published by the journal Nature on Wednesday, managed honeybees — which get trucked from place to place to pollinate major crops like almonds — didn’t show the significant ill effects that wild cousins like bumblebees did.

A second study published in the same journal showed that in lab tests bees are not repelled by the pesticides, and may even prefer pesticide-coated crops, making the problem worse.



bees reno

Observation Bee Hives – Reno Bees have safe haven from pesticides


Thank you Barbara for the cute Bee Socks and Organic Sunflower Seeds! https://www.facebook.com/barbara.rainey.5


bee hotel in reno nevada media reno nv reno nv fun bee habitat reno nv galena visitor center reno

KTVN Channel 2 – Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video –

Happy Friday Everyone! Here are the videos from yesterdays news coverage. Please help a girl out and go comment on the news videos and articles. Remind them that plants treated with neonics or pesticides kill bees. Ask our local garden shops to carry more certified USDA organic seeds and flowers for our native pollinators! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo





Bee Safe Pollinator Garden

bee signs
We are reviewing/considering moving forward with a pollinator garden at The Galena Visitor Center. Please find attached plans and information regarding this bee garden.
I feel we could create curriculum to tie into the bee garden and hotel that would enrich the existing programs, classes and events you host currently for The Great Basin Institute.
bee hotel 3
Thank you for working to help make Reno parks a safer environment for our community as well as local wildlife, bees and our pets.
Please find attached landscape plans for 3 pollinator friendly parks created by Jana Vanderhaar, Sandy Rowley, Linda Allison and other Bee Habitat volunteers.
stingless bees
We have a combined 40 years experience with organic and permaculture based landscaping services.
The existing plants are great foraging for pollinators and we plan to keep them in the garden. We will be adding complimentary plants
to fill in areas to prevent  weed growth and maximize existing visual appeal of the garden. *See attached list of
neonicotinoid free plants to be used in the new garden.
Please see attached 3 sample pollinator garden plans as ideas free to use as you wish.
Our goals are to weed the flower bed, then apply an organic compost tea before planting new flowers and shrubs.
After installing new plants, we will then apply a thick layer of composting materials. This will help minimize new weeds from taking
root. The compost tea along with organic mulch will help build the quality of the soil, thus fending off weed growth.
bee gardens 6
We would then install a stingless bee hotel as visual interest for the park. These bee hotels are for non aggressive solitary and stingless bees.
See sample bee hotels designs in this post.
create a bee hotel
Signage is an important part of the work, resources, money and time we are donating to the GBI. Pesticide Free Pollinator Garden by Bee Habitat, Great Basin Institute & Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors.  Please see attached and images below as examples.
signs for bees
Maintenance would require water and mulching 2 or 3 times a year.
Last but not least, the center would need to agree in writing to not use any chemicals in the management of this garden. This includes all pesticides, herbicides, slimicides, adulticides and the like.
bumble beees
Reno/Sparks Association of Realtor’s has expressed interest in helping maintain this garden if needed.
We would like to start in a week.  Hope to hear from you soon.
All the best,
Sandy Rowley
Bee Habitat
Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors
queen bee reno 2014