More Play Less Spray

Did you know that places, where you play such as parks, schools, and lawns, may have been treated with toxic chemicals that can negatively impact the health of people, pets, and pollinators?  With our society's infatuation with non-native turf, there is the unnecessary use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers to eliminate weeds and keep these spaces green.  

What are pesticides? “Pesticide” is an umbrella term that includes—but is not limited to—insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and rodenticides. This includes Weed & Feed products! Learn more:


Here are some pesticide facts:

More Play Less Spray - Advocating for safer non-toxic parks, neighborhoods and schools

Children exposed to pesticides during  development may have lower IQs, birth defects and developmental delays, and face higher risk of autism, ADHD and cancer.


Pets are also especially vulnerable to pesticide exposure. Lawn chemicals have been linked to two types of canine cancers, and can contribute to rashes & skin allergies.


Pesticides are toxic to birds & pollinators & beneficial insects. Remember, insects are baby bird food, don't poison their meals!

Image by M. Dean

What can you do?

Sign the Pollinator Pledge & create a pollinator safe property at your home, school or business.

  • Talk to your neighbors and local leaders about eliminating pesticide use in our neighborhoods and parks.

  • Build Healthy Soil to Grow Healthy Plants! Instead of chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, build healthy soil with compost and leaf mulch. Soil is alive, and soil life matters. Learn more at: or

  • Learn about Pests & Pesticide Alternatives:

  • Leave the leaves and stems! One of the most valuable and easiest things you can do to support pollinators and other invertebrates is to provide them with the leaves and stems they need for winter cover and food. Learn more at:


Plant Native Plants for Your Area

If you can, remove some or all of your lawn and plant native flowers that will thrive in our climate without added chemicals or anywhere near as much supplemental water. Native plants thrive in our natural clay soil! These will also attract beneficial insects and birds that will help with garden pests like aphids or cabbage loopers.

Attend our Native Plants Swaps to pick up some free plants for your landscape and learn more from local Colorado gardeners! Learn more about what native plants to use in your area from the Colorado Native Plant Society:

  • Reach out to your government officials and state agencies and ask that they adopt pollinator friendly policies and practices at the local and state level. Find some example letters you can use to reach out here:

  • Talk with neighbors, schools, businesses, farmers and beekeepers to encourage pollinator safe product sales and practices.  Find some example documents you can use to educate and start the conversation here:

  • Get your kids involved! Encourage them to talk to other students and teachers about how to help protect pollinators and people from exposure to pesticides on school grounds.  Encourage them to work on school projects such as how eliminating pesticide use and planting more native plants increases the amount of pollinators and wildlife in our urban yards.

    Send kids on a scavenger hunt to identify beneficial insects,  pollinators, or birds at home or at school. See if you and your child can work with the school and teachers to plant a pollinator garden on the grounds. See more ideas at:


Download our Door hanger flier to share
with friends, family & neighbors:


Or pick one up at our upcoming Seedling Swaps »


More suggestions to help protect people and pollinators: 


  1. Ask community members to sign PPAN’s Pollinator Safe Pledge (print out copies of the Pledge from this guide or direct people to sign the Pledge on the PPAN website here. Pass paper pledges back to PPAN so pollinator safe properties can be displayed on the website map. Watch the habitat areas grow!

  2. Sign up new Pollinator Safe Leaders here.

  3. Join a PPAN local chapter.

  4. Host an informational gathering or potluck for community members to learn more about eliminating pesticides.

  5. Provide resources such as plant lists and sources of safe plants and seeds.

  6. Ask people to display the Colorado Pollinator Habitat sign. It’s a good conversation starter! Contact PPAN to receive habitat signs for a suggested donation of ten dollars.

  7. Speak with local and state leaders about the issue.

  8. Host a pollinator safe plant and/or seed exchange in the spring or fall.

  9. Host a pollinator themed event.

  10. Show a film about the importance of pollinators.

  11. Speak to local nurseries about supplying organic and native plants/seeds and alternatives to pesticides.

  12. Let PPAN know if you are aware of a local business that has a pollinator safe philosophy and we’ll add them to our list of pollinator-safe businesses.

  13. If you are a resident of a Homeowner’s Association speak with the board and/or land managers about their current landscaping practices and your concern for human and pollinator health.

  14. Host a natural lawn care management workshop. It can be challenging to convince homeowners and other property managers that the landscape can be managed without the use of harmful pesticides. Providing simple steps for success can support the transition away from synthetic pesticide and fertilizer use.

  15. Encourage property owners/managers to transition from turf to pollinator habitat. Track the amount of turf removed in your community and number of pollinator safe plants added.

  16. Host a PPAN educational table at a local event.

  17. Host a native bee house-building workshop.

  18. Be a citizen scientist! Organize a neighborhood pollinator bio blitz and/or use the iNaturalist app to identify and track pollinators species found in yards and communities. This is a fun and educational way to learn more about the diversity of pollinator species and encourage some friendly competition amongst neighbors. Track increased diversity of pollinating wildlife as pollinator habitat grows!


More Great Educational Resources for Eliminating Pesticide Use: