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Letter: Pursuit of perfect lawn is poisoning our planet

Pursuit of perfect lawn is poisoning our planet

After soil tests at the former Westwood Country Club, it was determined by New York State Department of Conservation guidelines that “the site in its current condition is unacceptable for any use, including residential or recreation uses.”

It’s laughable that a golf course where recently golfers happily engaged in “healthy” recreation is now surrounded by a fence with warning signs. What does this say about other golf courses – are they poison, too? Are they brownfields? What does it say about the unnaturally green and weed-free lawns in our area where children play and families barbecue? Are they brownfields?

Does anyone else find it completely irresponsible that a private golf club would poison the land that its members used for recreation? Or that residents would poison the lawns where their children play?

Is anyone else shocked and incensed that a golf course is now a brownfield as a result of the chemicals that were used to treat the grass, and that we get to clean it up, through the state brownfield program, so that a developer can then build homes there? Then the residents can begin the poisoning process anew by treating their lawns, making them weed- and insect-free, and poisonous to all living creatures; a poisonous and unnatural monoculture of Kentucky bluegrass. These chemicals are poison, their manufacture and use needs to stop. Their use is irresponsible, and damaging to nature. Further, these chemicals don’t stay on our lawns, but eventually end up in our waterways, affecting our streams, Lake Erie, our drinking water, fish and fowl, and all who use these resources.

Instead of using our tax dollars to clean up this site, New York State should outlaw the chemicals that created the problem and ban their use everywhere.

Dandelions are the sign of a chemical-free lawn. Be proud of your dandelions.

Vince Dellapenta

Hamburg