Learn About Health Risks Associated with Pesticides

The Wellesley Board of Selectmen have designated May 27, 2018, as Rachel Carson Day to commemorate the birthday of the famous ecologist who launched the modern environmental movement with her book Silent Spring in 1962. In a proclamation released today, the Board of Selectmen call on fellow Wellesley citizens to remember Rachel Carson’s life and legacy, and to join together to strengthen the protections of our health and the sustainability of our homes, schools, neighborhoods, communities.

To launch this call to action, the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission is joining other town departments and community volunteer organizations to hold two health-focused events in May to promote the inspiring example set by Rachel Carson.

Carson’s book Silent Spring documented the environmental dangers of pesticide use and ultimately resulted in the banning of the pesticide DDT. Though many people sought to discredit her work, Carson continued to speak out against the dangers of pesticides and the largely unregulated chemical industry until her death in 1964. However, fifty-five years later, pesticides and herbicides are still used on lawns in Wellesley.

Last year, the NRC launched the Grow Green Wellesley initiative to alert residents to the dangers of using chemicals on their lawns and to encourage them to switch to organic methods. As part of the continuing Grow Green Wellesley initiative and using Rachel Carson Day as a springboard, the following FREE activities are planned for the month of May:

Movie Night: “A Chemical Reaction: The Story of True Green Revolution”
May 16 at 7 PM, Wakelin Room – Wellesley Free Library
A screening and discussion of this 2009 film about a Canadian community that banned lawn chemicals after a local dermatologist noticed a connection between her patients’ health and their exposure to pesticides and herbicides, and the tremendous legal battle waged by the big chemical industry. Information about organic landscape professionals and earth-friendly lawn and landscape techniques will be available. Birthday cake honoring Rachel Carson and popcorn will be provided. Sponsored by the NRC, Heath Department, Department of Public Works, Sustainable Wellesley, and Wellesley Cancer Prevention Project.

Celebrate Rachel Carson in the Wellesley Veterans’ Parade
Sunday, May 20 at 1 PM
The theme, “Your Lawn, Your Health” remembers Rachel Carson and includes the NRC, Sustainable Energy Committee (SEC), Sustainable Wellesley and other environmental groups marching together to encourage healthy lawn care and landscaping methods.

For more information, contact the Natural Resources Commission, nrc@wellesleyma.gov.

Phyllis Theermann

photo thanks to People Not Pipelines

Some people from the Shale region of PA — where Wellesley’s fracked gas comes from — will be visiting Massachusetts on Wednesday, March 7 at 7 PM – 9 PM at the First Church in Jamaica Plain at 6 Eliot St. —  for the “We’re In This Together: Battling for Clean Energy and Fighting Fracking from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts” event. People from Wellesley interested in going can sign up to carpool with Sustainable Wellesley here.

You are invited to this evening with community leaders from the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania. Families, landowners, and whole communities there have been deeply impacted by intensive development of fracking wells and facilities, and their struggle connects directly with our use of fossil fuels in the Northeast. Pennsylvania activists sharing their powerful stories will include Lois Bjornson, Craig Leland Stevens, Brian Latkanich and Jane Worthington.

This event is free and open to the public. Donations encouraged to support the Jamaica Plain Forum. Sponsored by Clean Water Action, Mass Power Forward, Mothers Out Front & Mothers Out Front – Jamaica Plain Organizing Team, Resist the Pipeline and the Jamaica Plain Forum.

Add this to event to your calendar as it is a chance to meet the people on the other end of the pipes and should be a powerful evening.

Phyllis Theermann

No worries if you missed the recent conference at Boston University “Natural Gas Infrastructure and Public Health: From Local To Global” —  you can catch the video here!
Wellesley’s own Dr. Regina LaRocque (MGH and member of the Wellesley NRC) was a lead organizer of this impressive event at Boston University on January 30, 2018. The conference focused on the impact of our local energy choices on the health of our communities.
Take time to watch — you’ll find one big impact speaker after another:
Featured speaker Barbara Gottlieb, Physicians for Social Responsibility, with an overview on the connection between natural gas infrastructure and human health (starts at 11:10 minutes in the morning session)
Panel on “The Landscape of Natural Gas Infrastructure in New England” (starts at 47:00 minutes in the morning session)
Panel on “The Health Effects of Air Pollution” (starts at 1 hour 40 minutes in the morning session)
Featured speaker Ari Bernstein, Center for Health and the Global Environment, “Health, Methane and Climate: The Path Dependency of Energy Choices” (starts at the beginning of the afternoon session)
Panel on “Health and Environmental Impacts of Natural Gas Infrastructure” (starts at 30 minutes in the afternoon session)
Panel on “The Role of Comprehensive Health Impact Assessments and the Future of Natural Gas in New England” (starts at 1 hour 49 minutes in the afternoon session)
Featured speaker Marcus Franklin, NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program, “Fumes Across the Fence Line” (starts at 2 hours 38 minutes in the afternoon session)