News

A Bittersweet Goodbye

Dear Midwest Pesticide Action Center supporters, partners, and friends,

It is with both excitement and a twinge of sadness that I announce the Midwest Pesticide Action Center (MPAC) will cease to operate as a stand-alone organization as of March 31st.

For more than 20 years, MPAC (previously Safer Pest Control Project) has devoted its efforts to reducing the health risks and environmental impacts of pesticides by promoting safer alternatives.  We have made legislative advances both locally and statewide to protect the health of our community from pesticides. We have won awards and accolades for our work with childcare centers, public housing, and those tasked with stewarding our outdoor spaces. We have motivated others to take action to make their governments and institutions accountable for their toxic outputs. There is certainly much to be proud of as we look back across MPAC’s decades of work.

The good news is that our work will continue. MPAC will transfer our programs and expertise to organizations we feel can carry on and enhance MPAC’s mission.

To this end, Ruth Kerzee, MPAC’s Executive Director, has joined Elevate Energy to lead integrated pest management strategies across the organization and will explore potential synergies that may be realized through Elevate Energy’s energy efficiency mission and environmental health programs. Elevate Energy is an innovative nonprofit in Chicago designing and implementing programs that protect people and the environment; they are well-known for their work creating healthier homes and institutions in underserved communities.

Likewise, Ryan Anderson, MPAC’s Assistant Director and Communications Manager, was hired by the IPM Institute of North America, Inc. to continue to grow our Midwest Grows Green (MGG) outdoor program. Since 1998, the IPM Institute has facilitated sustainability in agriculture and communities using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and other market-based mechanisms.

We have given careful thought to how to honor and continue our work promoting safer pest control and integrated pest management:

  1. MPAC will open the balance of its intellectual property to the Creative Commons for public use. We believe moving forward in this new way will best ensure that MPAC’s mission and learnings live on for years to come with insulation from funding uncertainty.
  2. MPAC’s website and resources will remain publicly available for the foreseeable future.
  3. MPAC’s Facebook and Twitter pages will be transferred as soon as possible to Midwest Grows Green to assist with communicating spring events.
  4. Midwest Grows Green activities including Chicago Grows Green Week, Milwaukee Grows Green Weekend, and MGG Lawn & Land Forum  will continue with Ryan Anderson at the IPM Institute. And, while the IPM Institute is in Madison, WI, Ryan will remain in Chicago to grow the outdoors program.  
  5. Ruth and Ryan welcome your inquiries and will be available to talk through other potential partnership opportunities. Ruth can be reached at ruth.kerzee@elevateenergy.org or 773-269-4065. Ryan can be reached at randerson@ipminstitute.org or 773-878-8245.

Judging by the recent news stories regarding the health and safety of products such as glyphosate and neonicotinoids, and reports that list pests as a primary housing concerns, we have a lot of work left to do and you can continue to support the mission and vision of MPAC. The IPM Institute accepts tax-deductible donations for Midwest Grows Green projects. We hope that you will continue supporting this effort, especially over the remainder of this winter, which is a critical time for 2019 planning and fundraising.

We thank all our supporters, partners, stakeholders, cheerleaders, present and past board members, and staff for sustaining MPAC through the decades. We look forward to this next phase in the promotion of safer and more effective pest control to protect people, pets, and pollinators (among others) from the negative impacts of pesticides.

Best Regards,

Meleah Geertsma

President, MPAC Board of Directors

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