Erie County Healthy Lawns Campaign

Make Your Lawn a Pesticide-Free Safe Home for the Gnomes!                                   

Take the pesticide-free lawn pledge, and receive a FREE lawn sign. 


Lawn Sign Graphic

(Actual Size:  5.75" x 5.75")

"Home for the Gnomes" name and graphics created by Daemen College Graphic Design students.*

Overuse and misuse of garden chemicals can be harmful to humans, pets, wildlife and water bodies. Collectively, you control about 900,000 acres of lawn in New York alone - 75% of the managed turf in the state. The good news is there are many ways to care for your lawn that avoid putting family and neighbors at risk. Pledge to eliminate pesticides in your lawn including insecticides, herbicides (weed-killers, “weed and feed”), fungicides and other chemical pesticides and receive a free lawn sign to let your neighbors know that your lawn is healthy and safe.

To protect my family, pets, wildlife and water, I pledge: (Options 1 and 2, receive a free lawn sign.)

   Option 1:  My lawn is already pesticide-free 

   Option 2:  I pledge to stop using pesticides, including weed-and-feed 

   Option 3:  I pledge to reduce my use of pesticides, including weed-and-feed.

The use of the sign is on the honor system, and we do not document or monitor the materials you use. One sign per household.

Checklist for a healthy lawn:

  • I mow my grass to no less than 3 inches. Taller grass outcompetes weeds, better withstands drought and is more resistant to pests and diseases.
  • I water my lawn less often and for a longer period of time when I do water; only using 1 inch of water per week. Water penetrates deeper into the soil and encourages roots to grow deep.
  • I fertilize in the fall with organic fertilizer. Applying fertilizer after top growth has stopped strengthens roots. Deep roots produce stronger plants that out-compete weeds. Naturally derived organic fertilizers such as compost and compost tea promote better soil health.
  • I aerate the soil in late summer. Aeration helps air, water and nutrients penetrate the lawn surface, removes thatch and improves root growth.
  • I plant a variety of grasses. Grass mixtures grow better in different sun, shade and traffic conditions.

The Home F EMC logoor The Gnomes pesticide-free lawn campaign is part of the Healthy Lawns Initiative sponsored by the Erie County Environmental Management Council in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County.  Click here for more information on the EMC.

Not ready to take the Pledge on-line?  Select the link below to print a copy to bring with you to a sign pick-up location.

Printable version of the pesticide-free lawn pledge and Healthy Lawn checklist!

Information provided will be kept confidential. By completing the Pledge, you may also receive periodic communications from the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County about lawn and garden best practices.

*Daemen College Graphic Design students - Jonathan Hutchison, Angela Marini, Violet Lent, Emily Metzger,  and Matthew Tanner under the direction of Professor Kevin Kegler.

Last updated June 17, 2024