LONDONDERRY, N.H.- -Stonyfield Organic, the country’s leading organic yogurt maker, has been obsessed with fields for almost 40 years. Providing green, organic pastures for its beloved cows, such as Little Flower and Liberty, to roam and graze has been a priority for the brand since 1983. However, Stonyfield realized that organic fields can have an even bigger impact on people, pets and the planet beyond its own. That’s why Stonyfield launched the StonyFIELDS program in 2018, a nationwide initiative to help keep families free from harmful pesticides in parks and playing fields across the country. To further the impact of its program, Stonyfield Organic announces today its goal to help convert the world’s most famous parks, Central Park in New York City, Prospect Park in Brooklyn and Grant Park in Chicago, to be organically maintained by 2025 through several donations. By the end of April, Grant Park will be the first of the parks to begin the organic transition as part of the #PlayFree initiative.
The organic yogurt brand discovered that while most American parents (69%) are looking to lessen their children’s exposure to pesticides in food, nearly the same number (67%) do not consider exposure at sports fields, playgrounds and parks to be of concern. Stonyfield is eager to bring attention to this issue seeing how more than 26 million kids play sports on the 670,000 fields across the country with 65% of the fields sprayed with harmful pesticides like glyphosate, 2,4-D and Dicamba, a source of concern for chemical exposure (that can lead to Parkinson’s disease, Endocrine Disruptor, Thyroid Disease and more). Stonyfield has converted more than 35 parks since the program’s inception 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 aims to make change at some of the most famous urban parks in the country. The passionate yogurt brand is in the process of working with a coalition of organizations to push NYC legislation, to pass bill, “Intro 1524,” that will prohibit city agencies from applying toxic pesticides to any property owned or leased by the city. This bill has the majority support of New York City Council Members, but is yet to be passed. After moving through the hearing process with unanimous support, the legislation is awaiting a vote of the full Council.
From there, Stonyfield’s donation will help the coalition, which includes groups like Grassroots Environmental, Beyond Pesticides, Osborne Organics, The Black Institute, and Parks for Kids NYC, to work with the city to provide training and begin organic maintenance. Also in Chicago, Stonyfield is in the process of working with Parks and Recreation authorities at Grant Park and Sherman Park, as the parks will officially begin converting to organic grounds by the end of April.
Additional parks across the country will be converted this year as well, including Jordan Park in Allentown, PA, Reservoir Park in Harrisburg, PA, and also fields in Matthews, NC, to name a few. Each of this year’s selected communities will receive a monetary donation to use toward the purchase of organic inputs and/or landscaping equipment needed for organic grounds management. The communities will also receive in kind technical support and guidance underwritten by Stonyfield from the yogurt maker’s expert collaborators, including Beyond Pesticides, Non-Toxic Neighborhoods, Osborne Organics and Midwest Grows Green.
Stonyfield hopes its #PlayFree program will empower everyone to make changes locally and at home to protect the health of children, their pets, and the environment, as well. That’s why this year they launched an online PESTICIDE PORTAL where you can 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.
Head to https://www.stonyfield.com/pesticideportal to tag your park and to learn more about how to take action in your own community and backyard.
About Stonyfield Organic
As the country’s leading organic yogurt maker, Stonyfield believes that taking care of organic farmers, cows, and their life’s work will produce healthy food, healthy businesses, and a healthy planet. Stonyfield, a Certified B-Corp, is also making a difference by helping to protect and preserve the next generation of farmers and families through programs like its Direct Milk Supply and Wolfe’s Neck Organic Training Program as well as #PlayFree, a nationwide, multi-year initiative to help keep families free from toxic persistent pesticides in outdoor spaces across the country.