October 2014-39
Catherine Cummings

When Catherine moved to Takoma Park, MD, in 2009, the problem of lawn pesticides hit her like a bright yellow flag in the face.  Three feet from her house, a neighbor was in a full-on war with dandelions using toxic sprays and granules.  So many Americans live like that- chronically exposed to harmful pesticides used unnecessarily.  Catherine was not going to be one of them, and when she met her neighbor, Julie, she knew she had company.  As the Safe Grow Zone Initiative, Catherine and Julie made history when the Safe Grow Act was passed in 2013 in Takoma Park, MD.

….and then they met Ling, Alex, Jen, Alan, Barbara and Marcia!

Catherine is incredibly proud to be part of Safe Grow Montgomery.  Putting their heads together, they re-imagined the burdensome “restricted list” approach, and produced a logical solution that translates to simpler education and enforcement.  The Healthy Lawns Act is a model for any community.

With a background in fine arts, Catherine paints the American landscape with an eye towards conservation, but celebrates the diversity and unpredictability and wildness of it.  Some of her favorite subjects are lichens.  She lives in Takoma Park, MD, with her husband, two children that are growing like weeds, the housecat Rainy Days, and the organic lawn-loving dog, Mandi.