I react to pesticides in much the same way that someone with asthma is affected by cigarette smoke. I have an immediate reaction that intensifies with prolonged exposure and the negative effects can linger for hours or days. However, also like cigarette smoke, pesticides have health consequences for everyone, not just people like me who notice the impacts more immediately. I value outdoor spaces and believe they should be cared for in a way that is safe and healthy for all people, animals, and the ecosystem.
When I am in nature, I want to smell nature. What a sad thing, to contaminate a mountain or park or yard with poisonous chemicals. I have long been active in environmental causes and will continue to advocate for our beautiful planet.
I am a mother of three daughters, and we spend a large amount of our time on soccer fields. I am constantly smelling and aware that I am breathing the damaging chemicals sprayed on the fields. I watch children rolling and walking barefoot in the grass, babies crawling, dogs sniffing and laying, people picnicking, water bottles being tossed on the ground, and children breathing heavily, and I cringe. I sit hoping that someday I can watch soccer without the discomfort and worry of knowing the damage that is being done as I sit and watch children innocently playing a game.
I am a biologist. My passions are birds and growing my own food. I shudder every time I see a sign on a lawn warning that pesticides have been used. I think of the microorganisms below the soil. I think about the larger organisms that feed on them, and on up the food chain until the poisons reach us. I want to help people understand the dangers of pesticides and help them care for the health of ecosystems we depend on.
I am a junior at Sentinel High School. I signed onto this organization as the treasurer to support my mom and this group in their endeavor to eliminate pesticides in Missoula. They were in need of a treasurer, and I am good with numbers and wanted some leadership experience, so I thought that this would be a good place to start. I also am a soccer player and play soccer on fields that are covered in pesticides, and I would love to know that I can safely play on fields not covered in chemicals in the future.
Growing up in Montana, my parents and grandparents instilled in me a love of nature and a strong desire to defend our pristine and wild environment along with its inhabitants. Having children only made this desire stronger. When it was discovered that my youngest child had allergies and asthma, I realized the considerable role our environment plays in our health and the health of our children. After numerous incidents with air quality and chemical use, I decided to become more active, working to protect this beautiful planet and all its creatures..
I relocated to Missoula five years ago, after serving nine-years in the Army. I am currently serving as an Environmental Health Specialist for the community and am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to our goal of an Organic Land Care Policy for Missoula’s parks. My passion for this mission started in Spring of 2021, when I was working on the PEAS Farm and was first introduced to the magic that is our soil food web. Sometimes all it takes to make meaningful change is a few dedicated folks.