Ecojustice Blog – Healthy communities, Nature Posted on October 5, 2010 (updated: February 17, 2015)

Fighting for Pesticide Free Gardens

Kimberly Shearon headshotKimberly ShearonStaff

The issue of pesticide free gardening is quickly escalating into a potential legal battle, as Henry and Vera Jones of Constance Bay have contacted us after the city threatened to mow down their natural garden and bill them for the pleasure.

A Constance Bay man who ran afoul of a city bylaw over the long, meadow-like grass in his front yard said he may begin legal proceedings against the city as early as Thursday.

Hank Jones said he is taking advice from the environmental-law organization Ecojustice, and is seriously considering filing for a court injunction to prevent the city from mowing the long grass and wildflowers that make up the budding wildlife garden in his front yard.

He said bylaws that encourage mowed, golf-course-style lawns and discourage natural, meadow-like properties contribute to environmental problems

To be clear, this is not about defending unkept lawns that pull down property values. Henry and Vera Jones are building an environmentally friendly, well cared for, natural garden that helps pollinate local flowers and food, and they are doing it without pesticides or harmful chemicals. They’re a model for responsible yard care, but the city is treating them like pariahs.

Check out the story in the Ottawa Citizen, hear Ecojustice lawyer Will Amos discuss the case on the CBC’s All In A Day, and stay tuned for more…

By Kori Brus

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