Two New York City parks to become free of pesticides with help from national yogurt brand

New York City Central Park with cloud and blue sky
New York City Manhattan skyline panorama viewed from Central Park with cloud and blue sky and people in lawn.
Photo courtesy of Stonyfield

A nationwide organic yogurt company is working to make areas of New York City parks pesticide free within the next four years.

In 2018, Stonyfield Organic launched the StonyFIELDS program in an effort to help keep families free from harmful pesticides in parks and playing fields across the country. To further the program’s impact, Stonyfield Organic announced a new goal to help convert New York City’s Central Park and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park to be organically maintained by 2025.

The yogurt brand found that around 69% of American parents want to lessen their children’s exposure to pesticides, but 67% of those same parents don’t consider exposure at sports fields, playgrounds and parks to be of concern. So far, Stonyfield has converted more than 35 parks across the country through this program and contributed over $2 million dollars to the initiative. Stonyfield teams up with communities nationwide to assist with their transitions to organic grounds management and bringing organic model fields to millions of people.

This year, Stonyfield Organics aims to help change some of the country’s urban parks, and is working with a coalition of organizations to get Intro 1524, which will prohibit city agencies from applying toxic pesticides to any property owned or leased by the city, passed in New York City. From there, Stonyfield will make a donation that will help organizations like Grassroots Environmental, Beyond Pesticides, Osborne Organics, The Black Institute, Parks for Kids NYC, to work with the city to provide training and begin organic maintenance.

Each community that is selected for the program will receive a monetary donation to use toward the purchase of organic inputs and/or landscaping equipment needed for organic grounds management, as well as technical support and guidance from Stonyfield Organics and their collaborators, including Beyond Pesticides, Non-Toxic Neighborhoods, Osborne Organics and Midwest Grows Green. 

Stonyfield Organics has also launched a pesticide portal for the community to tag a park in your community to have it reviewed by the StonyFIELD task force. If chosen, Stonyfield will provide local park officials in your community with the proper tools to test for harmful pesticides and offer resources for them to transition. To learn more or to tag your park, visit www.stonyfield.com/pesticideportal.