“We are going to the park.”
Those six words were like magic when I was a little girl. When I was about 8 or 9 years old, my mom would take my sister Heather and I to the city park that had a giant (to me back then) pond, a long row of swings, and a jungle gym we would climb all over and hang upside down on.
My mom would sometimes bring leftover bread for us to feed to the ducks.
We’d run across the field, and roll in the grass. Play tag or hide and seek with new friends. Such a simple pleasure transcends generations.
But like most things, we know better and want better for our children. When I take my kids to nearby parks I notice things that are different these days. Many have large sun canopies over the playgrounds if they aren’t shaded by trees. Signs read not to feed the ducks bread because apparently it’s bad for their guts. We never wore sunscreen, where now I happily lather it on my kids. And that glorious grass we loved to roll in was likely covered in potentially harmful pesticides and fertilizers. Not much has changed in that regard, but some people are working to fix that.
Stonyfield is a brand we already know and love because of their delicious organic yogurts we enjoy. For more than 35 years their cows have grazed on organic fields. Now they have a new mission to bring the same standard to the playing fields.
Over 26 million kids play on sports fields and most are sprayed with harmful pesticides. Stonyfield hopes to make all playing fields organic and free from those. Their new StonyFIELDS (see what they did there) initiative is to help communities across the United States take the necessary steps to convert to organic field maintenance and help give us resources to make changes in our own communities. Their website even gives tips to starting in our own backyards.
Our family is building our new home on a beautiful 2 acre lot that has more than an acre of greenbelt, home to lots of critters. Some we’ll happily welcome, like deer and squirrels. Others I’m sure we won’t be too fond of. Namely spiders and snakes. As much as I want to douse the entire place with all the bug killer, this is making me want to be more conservative in our approach. My husband and I are discussing getting a cat to help keep snakes at bay, and I’m reading essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus and cinnamon can repel spiders.
Now I’m thinking we may even plant a little organic garden of our own. My dream is for us to spend a lot of time back there and I think part of that means getting used to some critters.
Head over to the StonyFIELDS PlayFree site for more information on how you can improve your play space or nominate your community to get a donation for one of your local playgrounds or parks.