Help Us Help Our Pollinators!

Like other environmentally concerned organizations, Rowayton Gardeners has become increasingly aware of the significant dangers to humans as well as the environment in using hazardous synthetic pesticides like Roundup.  We encourage all of our neighbors to avoid glyphosate and other toxic pesticides used in landscape management to kill crab grass, other weeds and pests. Synthetic fertilizers are also toxic to soil organisms and can be replaced with organic fertilizers, which provide gentle, slow release of nutrients that nourish the lawn.  Instead of seeing a pristine manicured lawn which is actually a dead zone where no pollinating insects or birds thrive, we would like to celebrate healthy soil, a variety of turf grasses, wild flowers, and native plants that nourish pollinators and promote a healthy environment.

We encourage you to counter the alarm of seeing yellow pesticide application signs – the ones that are legally required to be posted in the 24 hours following a pesticide application — by agreeing to use organic pesticides and fertilizers.  We have posted on our website many safer alternatives to the commonly used products. Also, the nearby Gardener’s Center of Darien is an excellent resource and outlet for native plants and organic land care, plus organic products for pest problems.Those who have joined us in agreeing to transition to safer alternatives are now displaying the bee themed signs indicating that their property is now pesticide free. To date, we’ve distributed about seven dozen of Beyond Pesticide’s Pesticide-Free Signs throughout Rowayton – spreading the message so that residents will be encouraged to join us – to adopt a pesticide-free approach in their own yards.

In 2012, the Gardeners worked with town officials to transition Pinkney Park to pesticide-free lawn management. Subsequently, Rowayton Community Center, Rowayton Dog Park and Bailey Beach have all become pesticide-free along with smaller gardens in town maintained by the Rowayton Gardeners.  This is a great boon to our town because we are causing less pollution to our important waterways including Five Mile River and the Long Island Sound – at the same time that we benefit our pollinators.

We also started an initiative at that time to encourage neighbors to join our efforts by committing to not using pesticides on their properties and signifying their commitment by purchasing Pesticide-Free-Zone staked signs.  More than 75 Rowaytonites became part of this initiative.  Now we are asking our neighbors to become part of the Pollinator Pathway which is a multi-town and state effort to create a pathway for our pollinators that provides both a pesticide free zone as well as a nutrient rich home full of native trees, shrubs and plants for our birds, bee and butterflies. By creating a pathway for our pollinators, we are simultaneously cleaning our own environment.

Please join the Pollinator Pathway and order your Pollinator Pathway and Pesticide-Free-Zone signs. Click on either link to access the order form. If you already have purchased a Pesticide-Free Zone sign, we invite you to display the Pollinator Pathway sign as well.

Please contact Lisa Shanahan at for more information about the Pollinator Pathway or Priscilla Feral at for more information about pesticide alternatives.