Almost three years ago, RoundUp was sprayed in our beautiful, new Lavern Johnson Park (by the way, glyphosate remains present in the soil there, 2.5 years later). Concerned parents went to the Town of Lyons Parks and Recreation. The People, led by SOSWAP (Safe, Organic, Sustainable Weed Action Plan) group were met with whatever is the opposite of “we agree, that’s wrong, our town is too small to spray, we love each other too much to expose OUR children to poison.”
My kids can relate. The other day they said, “Mom, this kid said Mother Earth isn’t alive.” I was thinking, “what is this kid? Elon Musk or something? Of course, Earth is alive. It’s the only alive planet that we know of!” I didn’t speak though. I listened to their discussion about water, worms, nature fairies; and I thought this makes a lot more sense than people living on Mars, like some “intelligent” scientists suggest as a Plan B.
When our “intelligence” over rides our wisdom, we’ve outsmarted ourselves out of life (www.lookandseefilm.com). Supposedly it happened in Atlantis, ancient Egypt, and in Rome when arrogance or technological obsession blinded the leaders from the Truth. So, if you’re a grown adult, and you think covering your home in poisonous chemicals is a good idea, you may want to observe a honey bee or talk with a 4 year old…or read a non-corporate-think-tank funded book.
If you haven’t read Braiding Sweetgrass, give it a try. Its author, Prof. Robin Wall Kimmerer had a similar feeling of disbelief to that of my children, when one of her college students came with the same narcissistic script of “the Earth is MINE to use, it’s not alive.” When I read this, I channeled the epic stories of Harry Potter fighting the “Death Eaters” or Gandolf and Bobbo Baggins against the pasty Sauron attempting to control “Middle Earth.” Then hope comes over me because good always wins because it’s our natural inclination.
The 50 acres of Parks in Lyons is OUR “middle earth.” In 2018, when Parks and Rec said, “just keep your kids away from the parks for a week if you’re not comfortable with the spraying,” our Group knew how far we had to go. The work, with Town Administrators, board members, LCF (Lyons Community Foundation), both mayors and countless others who stood fearlessly for toxin-drift-free parks, was a step in the right direction. However, we knew after Parks and Rec switched to other harmful chemicals, like 2,4 D and Oryzalin, we knew the only way to kick the chemical habit was with a petition.
The 100 signatures were easy, and luckily we processed the petition the day before the (COVID) Lockdown. (By the way, the Middle/High School was doused in chemicals the day after the Lockdown because spraying chemicals is “essential business”)! Our Organic Lyons Ordinance was up for special election Oct. 2, 2020. However, Ian Brighton, Kaia Cochran, Tracey Holderman, and Mayor Angelo worked hard to come to a compromise. The town didn’t want to afford the special election (approx. $4,000) or going chemical-free in ALL 155 town-owned acres. The compromise was NO more spraying in the Parks or right-a-ways. The only exception is if Boulder County contacts us about a noxious weed infestation. But what about virus infestations, is spraying going to contribute to us getting sick, is it going to help suppress fires, is it going to help the bee population?
A Front-Range raised, triple-board certified doctor and researcher, Dr. Zach Bush MD predicted the ravaged landscape of Wuhan Peninsula had the perfect storm of: degraded soil, air pollution, glyphosate, water pollution…making it a likely site for a pandemic to start (www.farmersfootprint.org). Dead soil creates people with “dead” guts who can’t fight viruses. If you don’t believe me watch the HOPE-FULL documentary with Woody Harrelson called, “Kiss the Ground.” All we need to do is protect soil life and in less than a decade we heal Earth, in turn ourselves.
So the good news is our local Lyons Parks and Rec Director, Dave Cosgrove, stood up to those wanting to spray 2,4 D again this fall 2020. He stayed true to the October 2020 commitment to “no spraying” neurotoxins and carcinogens on our beautiful, healthy parks. He said, “no” because CU of Boulder, Riverbend, RM Botanical Gardens, City of Boulder, City of Louisville, and so many more don’t use synthetics. They do this because they don’t want to trigger anyone’s cancer, impede a child’s neurological development, and they know more plants mean more moisture in the air and that’s good for fire suppression.
Poison doesn’t magically go away; that’s what magical thinking is, a complete disconnect from reality (or a complete obsession with a corporation’s bottom line). We have tested the soil in Lavern Johnson Park and the last time RoundUp was used was April 2018; glyphosate was still present in December, 2020. Again, that is 2.5 years after the application. This means the particles that went into the St. Vrain River and into people and animals is still there too. The testing was paid for by Lyons Community Foundation grants, and the testing was performed at Colorado State University.
Large corporations, like Dupont and Monsanto, that sell the “Magical Money Fairy Dream” are convicted felons. They simply wanted to capitalized on WW2 chemicals, so they remarketed them as weed-killers (www.LivingHistoryFarm.org). The remarketing was a lie. These greed-machines commit crimes knowing that the “pay-out,” to say families who are able to prove chemical pesticides caused brain-damage in their child or cancer in their husband, will be less than the amount they will capitalize on initially (www.ChildrensHealthDefense.org). Pretty sick, isn’t it? The Magical Money Fairies made them do it.
On October 2, Organic Lyons Ordinance 1083 would have gone to a town vote. If voted in, it would’ve required the Town use substances on the USDA Organic List only. If the Ordinance passed, it would require USDA Organic substances on all 155 Town acres, not limited to the parks. The compromise between Town and The People made the Parks and Right-A-Ways synthetic chemical free. So now when people say, “I thought Lyons was pesticide free,” you can say, “it is again…mostly.”
Lyons is not 100% chemical free, but we are “using” chemicals as a LAST resort. Now, that is REAL Integrated Pest Management (it’s not pesticides as a last resort when we have enough time, money or all convenience needs have been met). It’s literally– try the dozens and dozens of other options whole-heartedly and if Boulder County Open Space needs to drive around in their ATVs and “spray something,” then the Town submits an application to the Ecology Board. That was the agreement, and Dave has proven that he’s sticking to it.
………………….by Tess McDonald
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this Opinion Column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any staff member, contributing writer, or the Lyons Recorder. The article is presented for the readers’ information and entertainment purposes.