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April 21, 2005
City launches "Go Natural" gardening campaign
Toronto residents are being asked to "Go natural. Reduce pesticides."

Coinciding with Earth Day and the start of spring gardening season, a public
education campaign is being launched this weekend to provide residents with the
tips they need to grow beautiful lawns and gardens without using pesticides.

"We want residents to get the message that the City is working with them to
reduce pesticides and protect the health of our community. We are backing this
up with practical, how-to advice for all those gardeners getting ready for the
growing season," said Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health.

The campaign includes newspaper ads offering four main tips to a natural lawn:
"aerate and seed; water wisely; pull weeds; fertilize naturally."

Shoppers will also notice prominent displays of "Go Natural" point-of-purchase
information at more than 120 gardening and hardware stores across the city.
This information offers detailed natural gardening tips in handy, take-away
formats. City staff will be at participating retail outlets on weekends during
May to answer shoppers’ questions.

Other campaign activities include advertising in multi-language media outlets
and community-based education sessions.

City Council adopted a Pesticide By-law restricting the use of pesticides on
public and private property with a phase-in period focused on public education.
For commercial pesticide applicators and commercial property owners, warnings
will be issued for non-compliance this spring and summer and beginning in
September, tickets may be issued with a fine of $255. Residents may be fined
for non-compliance beginning in September 2007.

Copies of the newspaper ads and other "Go Natural" materials are on the City’s
web site at
Residents can call 416-338-7600 for gardening tips.

Media Contact:

Frank Giorno
Toronto Public Health



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