I’m JoAnne Friedman and this is my story.
I moved to the country and my new husband decided to make our land look like a golf course. He bought a sprayer that could be pulled behind an ATV. When he was using it, I pulled the label off of the 2,4-D herbicide container. The print was so tiny it could not be read with the human eye. I enlarged it on our printer until I could read it.
I was shocked, it states;
HAZARDS TO HUMANS AND DOMESTIC ANIMALS DANGER: Corrosive; causes irreversible eye damage. May be fatal if absorbed though the skin. Harmful if swallowed or inhaled. Do not get in eyes, on skin or on clothing. Avoid breathing vapor or spray mist.
My husband was wearing shorts and sandals, with none of the protective, PPE, or knowledge of the safety recommendations or environmental hazards of the product.
I began researching and downloading studies from the internet. These are available for anyone to read. The damage to human health has been researched by M.D.s and Ph.D.s. The results have been published in medical journals. I took my large binder of these studies with me when I met with the Executive Director of our local children’s museum. My concern was, not only the honey bees that the museum kept with indoor viewing, but the danger to the children’s exposure to the lawn chemicals that were being applied.
After discussing the original lawn, Dutch white clover mixed with grass seed, Jeff Mehn informed me he only liked just grass. It was what is socially expected. He wasn’t concerned about the bees or the children.
Time passed, the bees died, and I auditioned for a local Art Center performance. When I made the cut, I was told my stage was set up at the Above and Beyond Children’s Museum. Of course, I had to check out the lawn and the set up before hand. I was thrilled to find clover in the lawn! Jeff and I had another meeting.
My next step was asking Michele Colopy, then Director of the Pollinator Stewardship Council, if a letter could be sent commending the change. The idea being to reinforce the positive and encourage a new perspective on lawn care.
This excellent letter is still influencing my local community today.
White Clover for Honey Bees