Safer Pest Control Project

4611 N Ravenswood Ave
Chicago IL 60640

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In 1994, a coalition of four environmental groups -- the Sierra Club, Illinois Environmental Council, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, and Business and Professional People for the Public Interest ' partnered to address widespread concern over pesticide use, and founded the Safer Pest Control Project. Over the next decade, SPCP has made remarkable strides toward its goals, including: SPCP won an EPA Environmental Justice Award for our work to protect children from pesticide exposure in Illinois childcares. Offered Illinois' first ever Natural Lawn Care Seminars for professional landscapers and school turf managers with national turf expert, Chip Osborne. Trained 137 building engineers and 400 food service workers at Chicago Public Schools on safer methods of pest control through a comprehensive outreach and technical assistance program. We continue working in partnership with the district to implement these methods at all schools. SPCP began a training program for residents, building owners and property managers to improve environmental health conditions in low-income housing by addressing pest management issues. SPCP created and facilitated train-the-trainer programs for childcare trainers, early childhood education professors and Illinois Department of Children and Family Services licensing representatives. Collectively, we have trained more than 1, 000 providers who serve more than 30, 000 children. Materials developed by SPCP serve as a model for programs in several other states. SPCP received this award for training on and assistance to Illinois schools and childcare centers in the transition from conventional pest control to IPM. Adoption and implementation of Integrated Pest Management Policy at Chicago Public School. Although CPS requested and received an exemption from practicing IPM, the district adopted an IPM policy in 2001 after SPCP trained staff and helped deliver the policy. SPCP hosted a one-day conference April 28, 2001 in Chicago to improve community awareness of pesticide misuse and safer pest control. The conference also set the stage for enhanced cooperation among community leaders, city and state agencies, community service providers, and private companies already working on the issues of pesticide misuse and Integrated Pest Management ( IPM ) in Chicago. Chicago Housing Authority adopts a policy requiring IPM in all management contracts at CHA developments. The adoption of this policy was a result of the successful pilot IPM project established by SPCP at Henry Horner homes. Passage of two state laws in Illinois which require public schools to use IPM and notify parents and school staff prior to any broadcast pesticide applications in school buildings or on school grounds. SPCP won a Governor's Pollution Prevention Award for its work with the residents of Henry Horner Homes public housing development on Chicago's west side to design and implement an IPM pilot project. Release and distribution of "Toward a Safer Pest Control Policy in Illinois: Integrated Pest Management in Public Spaces." SPCP publishes an educational comic book, Pest Invasion I, on IPM for public housing residents. The comic book design team consisted of Don McQuay, an established comic book artist, paired with Delano Brown, a young resident of Henry Horner Homes public housing development. The Team's initial effort was so successful that SPCP published a second comic, Pest Invasion II, for public housing residents moving to Section 8 housing. SPCP's innovative work with residents of Henry Horner Homes in Chicago led to design and implementation of the first ever IPM pilot project in public housing. SPCP launches its annual Yards for Nature Campaign whose goal was to counter the massive springtime media blitz by chemical lawn care companies who fail to notify the public of the health and environmental risks of chemical lawn treatments.