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When the kids are out of school for the summer, what better way to enjoy a nice day than spending a few hours at the park?  Kids get a good outlet for all their extra energy and parents get to soak up some much-needed summer sun.

But before you pack up the picnic basket and load everybody in the car, you should consider finding a pesticide-free park in your area.

Pesticide-free parks

Often used in the upkeep of parks, pesticides can be very harmful to children. Pesticides can cause immediate health problems, such as dizziness, nausea, and headache, and some are even linked to major health problems, such as asthma, learning disabilities, and cancer. Kids especially are at risk from pesticides both because their bodies are still developing and because they are more likely to be exposed to pesticides.

For Washington state residents: The state of Washington provides many opportunities for a pesticide-free environment when you’re looking for some quality outdoors time. There are 22 pesticide-free parks in the city of Seattle alone, and many more in Snohomish, Everett, and Shoreline. For a list of specific parks participating in the pesticide-free program, both in Washington and around the country, you can visit Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides.

And if your favorite spot isn’t on the list? Make your local park pesticide-free! By gathering support in your community and campaigning for new policy, you can make your favorite park a safe place for your children to play.

So, next time you’re up for a little fun in the sun, make sure you’re putting your kids in a safe environment and choose a pesticide-free park!