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Natural Awakenings Fairfield Cty/Housatonic Valley, CT

Oxford Retires Roundup, Goes Organic

Glyphosate-based herbicides—such as Roundup, Rodeo and Ranger Pro—will no longer be sprayed in Oxford parks or other public areas. Stratford’s Northeast Horticultural Services has been hired to manage a non-toxic, organic program to control vegetation in the town of Oxford. The decision to work with Northeast Horticultural Services was the outcome of a meeting set up by Oxford resident Jennifer Giustra-Kozek, LPC, health advocate, author and public speaker, with Wayne Watt, director of public works.

Concerned Oxford residents and parents Giustra-Kozek and Stacey Marcell spoke at the meeting, with support from Zen Honeycutt of Moms Across America, a nonprofit that raises awareness about toxins, and Jeff Cordulack, executive director of CT NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association). Marcell, a Connecticut-licensed arborist and owner of Northeast Horticultural Services, is a NOFA-accredited organic land care provider. 

The two chemicals that were being used in the previous vegetation control plan were glyphosate and triclopyr. Glyphosate herbicides are applied to the leaves of plants to kill both broadleaf plants and grasses; they are endocrine disruptors, immune system destroyers and carcinogenic. They are used to manage vegetation in ball fields, golf courses, agriculture and other public areas. Triclopyr is equally as toxic. It sterilizes soil and contaminates waterways, causing death to aquatic life. Health concerns have been raised about these chemicals for years, they are banned in many other countries and environmental groups throughout the state have been working toward restricting the use of these substances in Connecticut.

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