The degree of attention we are placing on our health and the health of friends and family members is palpable as the COVID-19 pandemic expands. New questions are surfacing around the dinner table, in Zoom calls, and across 6 foot gaps of space between people waiting in grocery store lines.

We are all taking a closer look at our personal health, environmental health, and how both can be more resilient when faced with a triggering event like COVID-19. With that heightened attention on how we can build a stronger immune system and protect ourselves against the environmental influences that can collapse our immune system, our team has never been busier.

Did you know that harmful pesticides like glyphosate are known to cause cancer, birth defects, reproductive effects, neurotoxicity, kidney and liver damage, all of which work against our immune response are used in the majority of community parks, roads, and fields so many families enjoy for purely cosmetic reasons?!?! COVID-19 has highlighted the critical importance of parks and their connection to human health and well being.

With an increase in demand to ban these pesticides in communities, we have successfully adjusted our processes and workflow to continue to support municipalities, school districts and counties to end the use of harmful and synthetic pesticides and transition to organic and regenerative land management during lockdown.

In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day on April 22nd, 2020, Philadelphia Councilmember Cindy Bass, of the 8th District, announced the launch of an organic and regenerative park project with our team and the local advocacy group, Toxic Free Philly.

“This (project) is a continuation of my commitment to creating healthy and clean environments, particularly in underserved communities which have been plagued by issues of enhanced exposure to environmental toxins,” stated Councilmember Cindy Bass.

“Our parks are more important than ever” – Barbara Stalbird Natural and Cultural Areas Manager City of St. Petersburg, Parks and Recreation who’s working with NTN on their organic and regenerative park project.

On February 26, 2020, the Board of Supervisors unanimously directed staff to amend the County of San Diego’s Board Policy to prohibit the use of glyphosate-based products and to prioritize the use of organic alternatives when conducting vegetation management on all County-owned properties.

Our team is working with the County of San Diego Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures on policy drafting, and to share proven and OMRI listed alternatives and new tech solutions to successfully end their use of glyphosate for vegetation management.

This is why now more than ever before, parks, schools and public lands need to be free from harmful and synthetic pesticides, empowered citizens, land managers, and school district staff need to continue to work to get organic and regenerative landscaping policies adopted to ensure they are the healthiest environments possible to begin our healing process.