Put health before 'perfect' lawn

I really appreciated Jennifer Hartzell's article on the importance of avoiding lawn chemicals in our yards ["Enjoy your own (healthy) lawn this summer," June 16]. I have often been baffled as to why people pay money to basically poison themselves, but I suppose that's a tribute to the power of peer pressure, a certain idealistic but outdated vision of the yard, and the heavy advertising of the lawn chemicals industry.  Thank you to Hartzell and the Observer for spotlighting the importance of keeping one's yard truly natural.
I offer two additions to Hartzell's article.
The first is that she mentions being happy to have clover in her yard. I also am fond of clover. She might be interested to know that clover was once considered an important component of the "ideal" American lawn. As legend goes, when the chemicals that killed dandelions and the other unwanted components of the "ideal" lawn kept killing clover also, the industry just declared clover a weed, achieving through public relations what they could not through chemistry.
The second is that in addition to homeowners avoiding these applications, I wish more cities, schools, libraries, and businesses would stop applying these chemicals. I was disappointed on a recent walk through Westlake's Recreation Center Park to see these chemicals applied where many children and pets roam. Signs were displayed as the law requires but kids and pets aren't known for reading such signs. It would be better if we put health first and just cut the grass and whatever else is growing in a yard or field and skipped the chemicals for the reasons that Hartzell notes in her article.
– Dr. Fred Wright, Westlake

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Volume 12, Issue 13, Posted 10:04 AM, 07.07.2020