P.O. Box 40441, Providence, RI 02940

Tel. 401-351-9193, E-Mail:


(Lighting the Way to Less Toxic Living)



CONTACT:  Liberty Goodwin, 351-9193.





When the “Less Toxic Landscaping” Campaign was launched at the RI Flower & Garden Show in February 2004 by Toxics Information Project Director Liberty Goodwin, a major goal was to prove to people that they could have a beautiful yard and garden without the use of toxic pesticides and herbicides.  At the LTL Contest Awards on Tuesday, October 5, a bevy of photographs displayed on a screen at the Rochambeau Library in Providence told the story, as examples of glorious landscaping flashed before an admiring crowd of about 40. 


Prizes were awarded in three categories, the “What”, “How” & “Why” of Less Toxic Landscaping, representing what a healthy landscape looks like, what methods can be used to achieve it without toxic chemicals, and why homeowners and gardeners should be concerned about the products they use.  Says Ms. Goodwin, “I think the tragic deaths of many pets, along with scary statistics about increased rates of cancer and neurologic disorders in children exposed to pesticides, are the really compelling reasons to avoid them.  This is especially true when so many people have demonstrated that these toxic chemicals are quite unnecessary.”  The Toxics Information Project (TIP) website, includes articles about the risks, as well as information and links for those seeking healthier alternatives.


Contest participants and judges came from all over Rhode Island, as well as a couple from nearby Massachusetts.  RI State Senator Rhoda Perry, who successfully sponsored a resolution during this legislative session to reduce lawn pesticide use, was present for much of the event.  The organization plans to present a special award to Sen. Perry later this month, in recognition of her past and continuing support.  Special awards went to Kate Lacouture of Green Circle Design, Providence, a Contest judge, and to Barbara Ann Bourgette of North Providence and Aimee Reisman of Smithfield, in recognition of their entries and their support of the LTL Campaign over the year, including an appearance on the RI Soapbox cable TV show. 


Also special was the award to Barbara Malone & Cub Scouts Pack 7, Buttonwoods, Warwick, for their Group Organic Gardening Project.  Demonstrating a true scout spirit, the Pack decided to donate their prize, a full lawn care program from NaturaLawn of America, to the church that hosts the group, Saint Rose & Saint Clements Parish.  The four scouts present received Giant Bubble Maker kits, home-made by TIP Director Goodwin’s husband, Paul Klinkman. (Seventh Generation Unscented Dish Detergent was included for non-toxic bubble liquid.)  Paul, “official TIP balladeer”, enlivened the event by singing and leading several garden-related songs with his mandolin as accompaniment.  Paul is also TIP computer techie, webmaster & Board member.



Some entrants were given extra credit for submissions including elements of more than one category – pictures of their successful landscape along with good descriptions of how they did it, for example.  Providence residents, Wendy Bradshaw and Mary Greene received awards for excellence and took two of the top three prizes in that multiple “What” & “How” category.  Wendy’s prize was a natural rope hammock donated by the Frog & Toad, a Hope Street gift shop.  Mary received a certificate for a free bicycle from Recycle-A-Bike on Broad Street. 


Other contestants being honored included: Troy West & Jean Williams from Wakefield, and Sarah Sloane, Saunderstown, in the “What” category; Sue Lussier, Saunderstown, “How” & What”; Alta Carroll, Worcester, MA, Jodi Malone, Providence, and Thomas Masotto, Wakefield, with “How” entries; and Emily Rochon of Clean Water Action (CWA), Providence, for a “Why” article.  Other judges were Marni Lacouture, Exeter, a co-founder of the RI Wild Plant Society and Isabel Barten, Providence, “The Greenwoman”, for “How”; landscape architects Anjali Joli, Cumberland, & Carol Julien, Halifax, MA for “What”; Len Harris, Warwick & Patrice Pop, Providence, for “Why” entries. 


Among the prizes were a garden composter from RI Resource Recovery (RIRRC), a landscaping consultation with Kate Lacouture; a gift certificate and a Fall bulbs basket from Little Tree Farm & Gardens, North Kingstown;two half-day kayak rentals donated by Ocean State Scuba in Jamestown; a set of six solar outdoor lights from Ocean State Job Lot; a contained garden created by Carol Julien; three subscriptions to E/The Environment Magazine, and a membership in the RI Solar Energy Association (RISEA), including their quarterly newsletter, “Helio”.  A full list of the judges, winners and prizes is attached, and entries can be viewed in the Less Toxic Landscaping section of the TIP website, 


Though the 2004 LTL Contest is over, the Less Toxic Landscaping campaign will continue.  Next step will be the publication of a Rhode Island Less Toxic Landscaping Resource Guide, with everything needed to help RI gardeners and homeowners who wish to create and maintain healthy outdoor home environments.  In addition, TIP will be inviting support for their efforts to eliminate pesticide pollution of playing fields used by children, a concern shared by groups around the country.  Finally, the organization is considering whether to repeat their successful May Gardening Fair next year, and the possibility of a 2005 Less Toxic Landscaping Contest.  To learn more and to keep informed about plans and events, call 401-351-9193 or E-Mail:

return to menu