Safe Grow Montgomery is an all-volunteer group of residents in Montgomery County. We work together to end exposure to non-essential lawn pesticides in Montgomery.
On an afternoon in September 2013, residents from Gaithersburg, Potomac, Germantown, Chevy Chase, Bethesda, and Takoma Park’s “Safe Grow Zone” co-founders met in a café in downtown Bethesda to discuss advocating for a County law that would protect all residents and our environment from exposure to lawn pesticides. We drafted a mission statement that afternoon, and Safe Grow Montgomery was born.
Safe Grow Montgomery continued to use the same strategy that was effective in Takoma Park: collaboration, volunteerism, education, and communication with our legislators. Councilmember George Leventhal was the first to respond to compelling education that we sent to the County Council. After careful deliberation, he drafted legislation that would satisfy our mission statement. Soon after, he championed the bill by bringing on four co-sponsors: Councilmembers Nancy Navarro, Nancy Floreen, Hans Reimer, and Marc Elrich. By the time of the vote, Councilmember Tom Hucker had become a strong supporter of the bill.
Safe Grow Montgomery has been called the most effective grassroots activism campaigns in recent memory. We were able to collect:
200 people testified
40 partner organizations
20 letters from medical professionals including doctors, nurses and scientists.
Healthy Lawns Act passed but we still have work to do. There are several incorporated municipalities in Montgomery County that can decide to opt-in to the law. Residents need to show up and speak up in order for representatives to opt in. Want to get involved? Got to opt in tab, bring a copy of Bill 52-14 and ask that your city council opt in to protect your health.