Pesticide Ordinance

North St garden

In order to protect the health of our waterways, residents, pets, and natural ecosystems, the City of Portland is restricting the use of synthetic pesticides on all public and private property except in limited circumstances.  The City's Pesticide Use Ordinance establishes organic land care methods as the primary means to care for and maintain property in Portland including lawns, gardens, athletic fields, parks, and playgrounds. 

The ordinance was passed on January 3, 2018 and took effect for City property on July 1, 2018 and takes effect for private property on January 1, 2019.  The ordinance restricts the use of synthetic pesticides for all turf, landscape, and outdoor pest management activities in the City on both public and private property. You can download the ordinance here: City of Portland Pesticide Ordinance.

Lawn Care Tips

Maintaining healthy lawns and landscapes does not require synthetic pesticides if you follow some simple best practices. These include: 

  • Mowing high (we recommend mowing at the highest setting your mower will allow)
  • Topdressing with compost
  • Over-seeding
  • Watering deeply but infrequently.

Useful lawn care resources:

Next Steps

The ordinance calls for the City Council to establish a Pesticide Management Advisory Committee that will assist in the development of a comprehensive campaign to help residents understand the ordinance and provide information about land care practices that don't rely on pesticides.  Pesticide Management Advisory Committee page.

Think Blue Maine: See how synthetic pesticides get into our waterways.


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