This might be hard to believe, given Ogunquit must be one of the smaller towns in Maine, but if you recall the headline that Down East magazine gave the article – “OGUNQUIT LEADS THE WAY!” – you will have some idea what a small town with concerned voters can do to open the way for other towns in Maine and in the country.
That Down East article was about Ogunquit voters passing a landmark ordinance forbidding chemical pesticide use not only on town land – that had already passed several years before – but private land as well.
Of course several of the landscape companies were against this ordinance, even going so far as illegally leafleting homes the day of the town vote on this ordinance with leaflets published by the chemical pesticide companies claiming chemical pesticides were harmless.
And yet, after the ordinance finally passed, the landscape companies we are familiar with had organic products that they could use on lawns, shrubs and flower gardens that worked well; they even had a non chemical solution to deer ticks.
These companies were more than cooperative with their organic solutions – the word was out.
Since then, we have had calls and emails from conservation commissions in other Maine towns, asking for information about organic solutions and how Ogunquit was able to pass this ordinance. No doubt these requests for information were aided by Down East magazine’s awarding their 2015 Environmental Award to the town of Ogunquit, realizing that the voters of our town deserved that recognition.
Cities such as Portland and South Portland, smaller towns like Kennebunkport and South Berwick among others, are looking to pass their own versions of an ordinance banning chemical pesticides on all land in their towns and cities.
Ogunquit, despite its small size and small population, has proven to be a leader in our state and in the United States as a whole.