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Open Letter to the Community: Roundup Herbicide

Dear Community,

We wish to take a moment to respond to Mayor Narkewicz’ decision to allow an application of Roundup herbicide to the Florence Fields Recreation Area that abuts Grow Food Northampton’s farmland and the Mill River.  First and foremost, we wish to thank the many citizens who have expressed concern for this issue, and encourage you to continue advocating to your elected officials for the safest possible management methods at Florence Fields.  Please see our petition that is intended to voice support for organic management of the site going forward.

While we are disappointed with the Mayor’s decision to approve the broad application of Roundup herbicide at Florence Fields at this time, we acknowledge the higher level of safeguard to our farm that he is specifying for this chemical application than would have occurred prior to our activism. We also thank the Mayor for asking the Department of Public Works to study organic turf management going forward, and to reach out to other municipalities successfully using organic methods on their public fields.  We sincerely hope that improved land policies and practices at Florence Fields and beyond will emerge from this experience.

As guardians of the Northampton Community Farm—which includes our natural resources, wildlife, farmers, gardeners and consumers–Grow Food Northampton continues to believe that organic land care at Florence Fields will best safeguard our public and environmental health, support our organic farmers and gardeners, and enhance the national admiration of the Bean/Allard Preservation Project of which Florence Fields, the Mill River Greenway, and the Northampton Community Farm are all part.  Grow Food Northampton will continue to work collaboratively with the City of Northampton to protect this treasured resource.

Thank you,

Lilly Lombard
On behalf of Grow Food Northampton

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