Community Action Works
Community Action Works

How this Maine town went pesticide-free

Great news: neighbors in Blue Hill, ME are going pesticide-free!

Rick Traub and his neighbors were concerned about pesticides in Blue Hill. Together, they formed the Blue Hill Healthy Ecosystem Group and decided to take action.

The group wrote a strong ordinance to ban pesticides in town, using examples from towns like Camden, Rockland, Portland, South Portland, and Ogunquit, ME where community leaders have already passed pesticides ordinances.

Then they worked to make sure their community was behind them.

Community leaders tabled at weekly farmers’ markets and co-ops, created posters and placed them around town, and organized three monthly gatherings at the library with speakers on going pesticide-free.

The group established a good relationship with the local press and published articles about their work in the paper. They ran color ads and created a website and Facebook page with information on the risks of pesticides.

Finally, community leaders built enough support in town to bring their pesticide-free ordinance to a community vote. Then the Blue Hill Healthy Ecosystem Group mobilized to make sure their neighbors got out to vote in favor of passing the ordinance.

In November, the group won big! In the end, 1,412 people voted to pass the ordinance, winning the vote with nearly a 3-1 margin.

This ordinance prohibits the application, storage, or sale of nearly all pesticides in Blue Hill.

When neighbors come together and take action, lasting change is possible. Thanks to these community leaders, that change is happening now.

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