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Assessing Municipal Lawn Care Reform: The Case of a Lawn Pesticide By-Law in the Town of Caledon, Ontario, Canada


This paper explores the significance of the rapid increase in municipal by-laws restricting the use of pesticides on lawns and their support by the courts and higher political jurisdictions in Canada. Using a review on the literature of lawn management, recent policy events in Canada, and a case study of the Town of Caledon in Ontario, the study confirms the power of local democratic forces in support of such initiatives, but cautions against an overly positive view. Selective community backing, the continued endorsement of an industrial lawn aesthetic, and the continued strength of the pesticide industry sector and its supporters, can compromise both the extent and quality of the effectiveness of a by-law. The study points to the value and urgency of further research and assessments of individual municipal by-laws and their local and cumulative impacts.

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