Good Neighbor Iowa is a statewide public education initiative of the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Energy & Environmental Education. Our program 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, and pollinators and biodiversity.

People spray their lawns to be “good neighbors,” many think they’d be better neighbors if they didn’t!


Find out how spraying could affect your children, pets, pollinators and water.


Everything you need to know about converting your high maintenance turf to natural, Iowa prairie!


Learn how to take care of your lawn without using harmful pesticides.


See pesticide usage in your area and who have committed to be Good Neighbors.

Kids   Children

Children are among the most vulnerable in our community. Pesticides are often used where children live, learn, and play; it is essential that we work to protect their health from everyday environmental hazards. Join us in protecting child health in Iowa!

Waters   Water

When it comes to pesticides, the urban contribution to our waterways is largely ignored. Studies have shown that commonly used lawn chemicals runoff from our lawns into urban waterway. Join us in protecting our waters!

Nature   Pollinators and Biodiversity

Pollinators and pesticides don’t mix. The very purpose of herbicides is to eliminate biodiversity! Pollinator habitat can be supported in lawns where flowering plant communities are allowed to flourish. Join us in embracing diversity in your lawn!

Panther   Pets

Pesticides? More like pets-ticides! Pets spend a lot of time on our lawns and, like children, are vulnerable to environmental toxins. Join us in protecting our furry friends!


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Local leadership across the state is key to the success of this initiative. Contact us to get involved!

Mark RipplingerMark RipplingerDirector of Municipal Operations and Programs/Cedar Falls Parks, City of Cedar Falls
It is important that we try to work with groups to make the environment safer. It's been a goal of City Council to make our environment safer for children.
Cori BurbachCori BurbachAssistant City Manager, City of Dubuque
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.
Linda JacobyLinda JacobyChildcare Center Director
I think it's imperative to provide the healthiest environmental options possible for our children's growth and development. It impacts their future well being.
Jessie LowryJessie LowryConservation Manager, Blank Park Zoo
Natural areas are vital to the health of our ecosystem. Beneficial insects, including pollinators like the iconic monarch butterfly, will thrive in areas where they can find chemical-free host and nectar plants.