Safe Grow FAQ
About Safe Grow
On July 22, 2013, the Takoma Park City Council unanimously passed the Safe Grow Act of 2013 (PDF), which generally restricts the use of cosmetic lawn pesticides on both private and public property throughout Takoma Park. This is the first time that a local jurisdiction of this size has used its authority to restrict pesticide use broadly on private and public property, exercising its responsibility to protect the health and welfare of its residents through its local government. The law fits into the City’s strategic plan to lead community efforts in environmental sustainability, protection and restoration, and secures Takoma Park’s role as a leader in sustainability in the state of Maryland and the nation. This landmark legislation will protect residents of Takoma Park from involuntary poisoning, reduce the poisoning of pets and wildlife, and protect the watershed from harm posed by pesticides used to maintain the cosmetic appearance of lawns. The Safe Grow Act of 2013 establishes public education requirements and phases in restrictions of harmful pesticides for lawn care on public and private property within the City.
Important Information to Commercial Pesticide Applicators
Beginning March 1, 2014, this law makes it illegal for a commercial pesticide applicator to apply a restricted pesticide for lawn care purposes on private property or public rights-of-way in the City. To learn more, please review the pdf below:
All property owners or commercial applicators must correctly fill and post a notice to verify that the pesticide applied is not a restricted pesticide. The notice must be posted two days prior and remain in place two days after the application. The notice shall be visible from the public right-of-way at the point closest to the area of application.
Failure to post this written notice will result in:
- Written warning: From March 1, 2014, through June 30, 2014, the City shall issue a written warning to any Commercial pesticide applicator that fails to post and maintain the required written notice
- Municipal Infraction: Commencing July 1, 2014, failure to post and maintain the written notice is a Class G municipal infraction
Before applying a restricted pesticide, applicators must request a waiver and receive approval from the City. When applying a waiver, the applicant shall provide substantial proof that they have exhausted all reasonable alternatives to the use of restricted pesticides for lawn care. In deciding waiver requests, the City Manager shall balance the need for the use of restricted pesticides against the risks of such use. Restricted pesticide shall only be applied after a waiver is granted by the City.
- Waiver Request Form (PDF)
Please complete the waiver form and submit it to the Public Works Department directly.
For more Information on the Safe Grow Act, explore the links on the left or contact us at:
Public Works Department
City of Takoma Park
Lawn Care Workshop
The City recently hosted a workshop on organic turf management. Chip Osborne, president of Osborne Organic gave presentation on Systems Approach to Natural Turf Management. Interested in viewing the presentation, please click on the links below:
Part 1: http://youtu.be/-KngB9HlrJg
Part 2: http://youtu.be/p-ZeXU-MQlU
Part 3: http://youtu.be/cT7SlgF2yoM