Wilton Manors and Oakland Park Join Forces

To Reduce and Eliminate the Use of Toxic Pesticides


The Cities of Wilton Manors and Oakland Park have joined efforts to explore ways to reduce and eliminate the use of toxic pesticides on public lands and parks. This is a three to five year process that works on improving the soil, and growing methods.  


Both cities will be doing a trial run by using all organic means to maintain two parks in each city.  These parks will be pilot programs for both communities.  The cities are teaming up with Equality Garden Club’s “Green Initiative Project,” based in Wilton Manors, with training by Beyond Pesticides, a national educational grassroots organization.


The Green Initiative, for the past year, has been working with Wilton Manors Vice Mayor Tom Green, Patrick Cann, Parks and Recreation Director, along with Oakland Park’s Public Works Director Albert Carbon, and Assistant Public Works Director Julie Leonard.


“With increased awareness of the hazards pesticides pose to pollinators, wildlife, and our own health, communities are seeking out alternative approaches to land management that do not put people or the environment at risk,” said Drew Toher, Community Resource and Policy Director at Beyond Pesticides. “We are excited to work with Oakland Park and Wilton Manors on this important effort.”


The goal is to return to safer and effective good cultural practices, sound soil and healthy playing fields and parks.  The Club adopted a resolution in May, 2019 to work with local communities to eliminate the use of the toxic pesticides.


According to Gary Petonke, Chairman of the Green Initiative, “The Equality Garden Club is providing the majority of the funding for the training, in a grant to transform two parks in each city.  We are working to change the mindset, to change our thinking from this idea that the Earth will forever be our safe home and start acting like what we do matters.”  


“The city of Wilton Manors has implemented several programs to improve environmental resiliency and energy in recent years,” said Wilton Manors Vice Mayor Tom Green.  “With 15 parks and boat ramps, Wilton Manors is a unique urban environment that both the City and residents take pride in protecting.  The Equality Garden Club’s “Green Initiative Project” is a natural complement to this important work.”


Jane Bolin, Esq. Vice Mayor of Oakland Park, added, “I want to thank the Equality Garden Club for bringing this initiative to Oakland Park. This is an impactful way to continue the successful implementation of our Climate Action Plan with our neighbors in Wilton Manors. A win-win for our residents and our planet.”   


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