You may or may not remember but last month, I shared about how growing up on the field was very important to our little family. As parents now, we see the world through a slightly different lens. Because of this, we have teamed up with Stonyfield to help spread the word about StonyFIELDS’ biggest MISSION yet–making every field in America ORGANIC by stopping the use of harmful pesticides on playing fields.
Before taking on this “mission,” Stonyfield did research by surveying parents about their views on food and the environment. Specifically, they wanted to understand a parents view on pesticides. What they found was incredibly eye-opening. The majority of parents (69%) cared about lessening their child’s exposure to pesticides in food. However, just as many (67%) do not consider sports fields, playgrounds and parks to be an area of concern. This was interesting data because most playing fields are treated with a chemical cocktail of herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides. Many of these commonly used chemicals are either proven or likely endocrine disruptors, which can interfere with the development of children’s immune, reproductive, and metabolic systems.
As of today, 68% of parents are more likely to buy a product labeled organic, their primary reason being to avoid pesticides, but Stonyfield believes food is just one part of the equation. So, they are putting their money where their mouth is as a figure of speech. In honor of their 35th anniversary, they are starting a BIG MISSION, the StonyFIELDS Initiative.
The StonyFIELDS Initiative
This is a 3-year initiative to help 35 communities across the country convert outdoor fields and parks to organic, while also igniting a larger movement to ensure that all kids can play freely without the concern of potentially harmful chemicals.
They have started by selecting 10 communities for StonyFIELDS #PlayFree initiative which will help convert public fields and parks to organic grounds management, ensuring fields and community spaces are free from the use of toxic persistent pesticides and harmful chemicals. The fist 10 cities are South Portland, ME, Costa Mesa, CA, Burbank, CA, Tustin, CA, Salt Lake City, UT, Houston, TX, North Miami, FL, Hyattsville, MD, Portsmouth, NH, and Dover, NH.
These first ten field are just part of the equation. You can be involved in the StonyFIELDS Initiative by nominating a park in your community.
On top of helping the 10 selected communities, Stonyfield will also be selecting 10 more communities to provide towns with $5,000 in cash to use towards the purchase of organic inputs and/or landscaping equipment needed for organic management, plus in-kind technical support and guidance from expert resources who will help the town convert their parks. Residents, town employees, or town elected officials can nominate their community to receive one of these donations. Interested in applying? Find more details here.
Additionally, a grassroots donation program has been established that is geared toward 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations looking to take their community organization to the next level. A total of $50,000 will be given out to 501(c)(3) groups based on project proposals. Interested applicants can find details here.