Good Neighbor Iowa aims to reduce unnecessary urban pesticide use and to transform lawn culture to encourage appreciation of diverse lawns as a way to protect child health, water quality, pets, pollinators, and biodiversity. This statewide public health education initiative is managed through partnership with the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Energy and Environmental Education.

Good Neighbors in Iowa
Children Protected
Mowed Acres Managed Without Pesticides

Evidence of Harm

See the body of evidence that supports how spraying could affect your children, pets, pollinators, and water.

Turf to Prairie

Everything you need to know about converting your high-maintenance turf to beautiful, native prairie!

Healthy Lawns

How to take care of your lawn without using harmful pesticides.



Find other Good Neighbors in your area, track pesticide usage in your community, and see where yard signs are available for purchase!

Why does being a Good Neighbor matter?


Children are among the most vulnerable to pesticide exposure. Pesticides are often used in high volumes in areas where children live, learn, and play. It is essential that we work  to protect their health from everyday environmental hazards. Become a Good Neighbor to protect child health in Iowa!

Pets and Wildlife

Pets spend a lot of time on our lawns– sniffing, rolling around in, and tracking into our homes whatever we put on our lawns. This exposes our pets to toxic chemicals and increases the exposure of pesticides inside our homes. Become a Good Neighbor to protect our furry friends and other wildlife that may inhabit your yard!


When it comes to watershed contamination, the contribution from urban pesticide application is largely ignored. However, studies have shown that commonly used lawn chemicals run off from our lawns into urban waterways, contaminating groundwater and drinking water. Become a Good Neighbor to protect our waters and the life that relies on it!

Pollinators and Biodiversity

Diverse lawns and landscaping attract essential pollinators, while pesticides aim to destroy these beautiful and indispensable organisms. Pollinator habitat can be supported in lawns where flowering plant communities are allowed to flourish. Become a Good Neighbor and embrace diversity in your lawn!

Local leadership across the state is key to the success of this initiative

  • Being a Good Neighbor is vital to the health of our ecosystem. One small change can have a big impact on the natural world around us.

    Christine Eckles, CVA
    Chief Engagement Officer, Blank Park Zoo
  • I think all parents want to keep their children safe, and can’t do that on their own without the support of their community. This is one way we, as the City, can help create safe environments for all of our children

    Cori Burbach
    Assistant City Manager, City of Dubuque
  • We want all children to have access to pesticide-free play spaces and to safe, nutritional food!

    Kate Dohman
    Co-Director, Iowa Food Cooperative


Good Neighbor Iowa is an initiative of the University of Northern Iowa. We would like to acknowledge the land on which UNI stands is the occupied territory of the Ioway, Sauk and Meskwaki, Wahpeton, and Sioux People. To see UNI’s full Stewardship Statement, please visit their website.