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Grassroots movement promotes organic lawn care in Missoula

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Posted at 6:16 PM, May 02, 2022

MISSOULA - When hints of summer hit, you may be getting the itch to get outside and work in your yard, but having the perfect lawn and using conventional methods to get it comes at a cost.

“It has huge health effects,” said Missoulian Alison Reintjes.

She’s an advocate for organic lawncare, but first and foremost, Reintjes is a mom to twins.

As a mom, she worries about the toxins that end up on fields, in the river, and in the air and ultimately impact her children, so she’s digging into the root of the problem.

“Grow Safe Non-Toxic Missoula is a group of local volunteers who came together back in July of 2021 and founded a nonprofit,” explained Reintjes. “We are entirely volunteer run, and we are all currently mothers. All of us were concerned about the health and safety of the pesticides and synthetic fertilizers used on our lawns.”

Depending on the product, these toxins can affect the nervous system, irritate skin and eyes, impact hormones and the respiratory system.

“They are water soluble, so they make their way into our rivers and streams that we love so much here in Missoula,” added Reintjes.

So it’s mothers advocating for Mother Nature, and pushing an organic agenda. They hope it catches on across Missoula, and the best way to begin is in your own backyard.

“The first thing you can do in your own lawn would be to stop using the synthetic pesticides and fertilizers,” said Reintjes. “And if you want to take the next step, try aerating your lawn at least once a season and adding compost and natural fertilizer.”

She also recommends cutting your grass at a longer length and avoiding overwatering your lawn.

The steps are simple enough. It’s the cultural shift Grow Safe Non-Toxic Missoula is pursuing.

“Because the protections aren't there on the federal and state level, what we do at the grassroots level is wildly important,” confirmed Reintjes.

For a guide to organic lawncare, visit Grow Safe Non-Toxic Missoula online.

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