HCP Advocacy Toolkit

The HCP toolkit offers everything you need to begin and organize effective advocacy campaigns.  Get started by following the steps below:

 

Gather Reputable Resources

Write a Letter

Contact Local Officials

Sign a Petition

Talk to your Neighbors

Gather Reputable Resources


The national organization, Beyond Pesticides, is a world leader in pesticide reduction advocacy and provides an extensive online database of excellent resources to help you formulate an advocacy plan, either for your home landscape, school district or municipality.  You can find many great resources at Safer Choice - Beyond Pesticides Understanding local pesticide laws can be daunting.  The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Wisconsin provides in-depth resources on pesticide and fertilizer ingredients, application guidelines, applicator licensing and permits, pesticide fact sheets, and more.  For specific information on pesticide and fertilizer state application laws, please go to: DATCP Home How to Comply Manuals for Commercial Pesticide Use (wi.gov)  DATCP also provides the Wisconsin Pesticide Registry.  This free service allows Wisconsin residents to be notified at least 12 hours before commercial pesticide applications are applied to neighboring landscapes, providing you advanced notice to close windows, keep your children and pets inside to avoid direct exposure via drift, and do whatever else you need to minimize your exposure risk.  Annual sign-up is from November 1 – February 1, and can be done online or via regular mail.  If you witness what you believe to be a pesticide application violation, or an applicator on your registry list fails to notify you according to registry guidelines, you may file a formal complaint at DATCP Pesticide Complaints, where you'll be contacted by a DATCP pesticide enforcement officer.  To best substantiate your claim, document the incident with video and photos of the application violation in progress or as soon as you can, get the applicator’s company name and number, and note the exact date and time of the application. If there are any other witnesses, ask if you can provide their names and contact information to DATCP as well. Oftentimes, an enforcement officer will need to visit the site and take samples to gather evidence of the violation.  Time is often of the essence due to potential rain events that will diminish evidence. Some common examples of pesticide applicator violations include but are not limited to an applicator over-spraying/applying either liquid or granular pesticides onto sidewalks, walkways or the curb/road, applying in close proximity to others on public spaces such as public parks or playgrounds, or failing to properly post warning signs that clearly notify passersby that an application has recently been made.  Midwest Grows Greenwww.midwestgrowsgreen.orgToolkit DownloadsGreen Team of Wisconsin www.greenteamwi.comHCP Neighbor LetterHCP Municipality or School District LetterPesticides on Playing FieldsWisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition Statement on Pesticides




Write a Letter

There are many ways to advocate for yourself, your family, and your community to minimize your risk of pesticide exposures. Letters to the editor can be an effective way to increase public awareness about your concerns and the negative effects of lawn pesticide and synthetic fertilizer use.  In your communications, be sure to bring something to the table.  In other words, be sure to include as much information as possible to support your concerns and provide resources specializing in healthy, safe alternative green space management.  In particular, find other municipalities, schools or neighborhoods who are currently pesticide-free and utilizing sustainable practices.



Contact Local Officials

Write a letter or email or make a phone call to your local elected officials to let them know you support efforts to reduce pesticides use on public land such as parks, medians, and right-of-ways. Keep in mind that because of a state pre, local governments in Wisconsin do not have the authority to restrict pesticide use beyond that dictated by state law. However, through effective advocacy efforts, public campaigns and respectful communication with local board members, more and more municipalities and school districts are choosing to reduce pesticide use on public land and can have a powerful influence on residents' lawn care practices. Furthermore, other aspects of residential lawn care may be subject to local ordinances.  Wisconsin has banned the use of synthetic phosphorus fertilizers to significantly cut the amount of phosphorus that runs off into state lakes and watersheds.




Sign a Petition


Learn how to create an advocacy campaign at 
Guide to Developing Effective Advocacy Campaigns (click on pdf icon)
and explore other local and national petition campaigns
in which you can participate.



Talk to Your Neighbors

If you have concerns about your neighbors' use of pesticides, or other lawn care practices, consider approaching them in a non-threatening way to express your concerns. This Advice from the Washington Toxics Coalition may help you prepare for having a conversation about pesticide use. 


Below are a handful of good resources to utilize as well. Phosphorus runoff endangers waterways by encouraging algae blooms, which deprive aquatic life of vital oxygen and lead to fish kills and beach closings. Because they contain phosphorous, "weed and feed" pesticide/fertilizer products are affected by this ordinance Wisconsin's Phosphorus Rule | Wisconsin DNR.
 

 
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