Who knew gardening could be so important? With 80 million pounds of pesticides being used on residential lawns in America every year, changing the way we care for our yards is indeed very important. In fact a 2013 study released by the United States Geological Survey found the chemicals that we are putting in our yards are now in every stream, river and lake and half of our well water. Together, these are the sources of our drinking water. So what, exactly, are these chemicals and what do they do to us and how? And how do they get from our yards to our taps? Dr. Diane Lewis, a physician, describes in cogent, nuanced terms how we are polluting our drinking water and why this puts a cloud over our children’s future, increasing their risk for diseases as diverse as diabetes, autism and cancer. Then she gives us a surprisingly easy way to fix the problem by working together to chart a happier, healthier course forward for our families with no extra time or money by changing the way we steward our yards. Homeowners control most of the land in America, together we can protect our children’s drinking water. The Great Healthy Yard Project defines the scope of the problem of lawn chemicals polluting our drinking water and the history of how we as a society got to the point where casual usage causes pervasive pollution. Chapters lay out how water works, how these chemicals wind up in our drinking water and what they actually do to our bodies, as well as alternative ways to care for our lawns and gardens. It ends by asking readers to take the pledge to care for your yard without chemicals that will tarnish our water. Join us!
Diane Lewis, M.D. is an internist and nephrologist. An environmental activist, Lewis has embraced education as a means for implementing change. Lewis graduated from Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in physics and attended Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She completed her residency in internal medicine, as well as her fellowship in nephrology, at Montefiore Medical Center. She is licensed to practice medicine in New York State.
Lewis has lived in the northern suburbs of New York City for the past 30 years where she raised her three children. A one-time organic farmer, Lewis has been active in her community, serving on the board of the Katonah Village Improvement Society, America’s oldest community group, and is a past board member of the Bedford Audubon Society, and a member of the Bedford Garden Club. She is also a freelance reporter contributing environmental articles to the Bedford Record Review, a weekly newspaper.
Lewis is also a board member and chair of the Water and Land Use Task Force of Bedford 2020, a nonprofit tasked with forming a liaison between the community and local government to implement the town of Bedford, New York’s Climate Action Plan. She is also a member of the Rachel Carson Awards Council for Audubon Women in Conservation, a member of the Mid-Hudson Regional Sustainability Plan Water Management Working Group, the Town of Bedford Open Space Acquisition Committee, and the Town of Bedford Planning Board. Lewis speaks regularly on the impact of water quality on health.