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Dover receives $5K from Stonyfield for organic turf management

Union Leader Correspondent
September 13. 2018 11:14PM
Woodman Park Elementary School's baseball field will be treated organically, thanks to a grant from Stonyfield in Farm Inc. in Londonderry. (File photo by Kimberley Haas)

DOVER - Dover officials have accepted a grant from Stonyfield Farm Inc. in Londonderry to help them move toward organic land management practices on all public land.

In February, city councilors unanimously approved a resolution put forward by Councilor Dennis Shanahan committing to organic land management by 2020. The $5,000 cash grant from Stonyfield will pay for maintaining a heavily used baseball field at Woodman Park Elementary School.

At Wednesday night's council meeting, Shanahan said the money is part of a national effort by leaders at Stonyfield.

“Dover is one of the early adopters in this program to become a Stonyfield field,” Shanahan said. “I certainly accepting the grant money and moving forward with them.”

Director of Community Services John Storer said even though pesticides are still being used to control weeds on sidewalks and on city fields, they are on their way to becoming a state leader in organic land management practices.

“I truly want to see what we do in Dover be replicated in other communities,” Storer said. He said organic land management is a hot topic in the public works community.

Recently, a jury awarded $289 million to a California school groundskeeper who developed terminal cancer from using Roundup, the most popular weedkiller in the world.

CNN reported last year that more than 800 patients were suing Monsanto Company, claiming Roundup gave them cancer.

Storer is working with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension and leaders in the city of Portsmouth who are also moving toward organic land management practices on public land after their city council approved a similar resolution last year.

City Manager Michael Joyal said Beyond Pesticides and Osborne Organics will be overseeing the management of the Woodman Park field.

Before the meeting, Diana Carpinone of Non Toxic Dover said this marks the first time since the city tested pilot sites that an accredited organic expert will be overseeing a turf site in the city.

“This grant is a much-needed jumpstart to getting Dover to start meeting the terms of their organic policy,” Carpinone said.

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