Children’s Picnic Area in Central Park to be Sprayed with Toxic Pesticides [Update: Planned Large Picnic Cancelled]

Where in the world is Mayor Bill de Blasio?

On Wednesday night, Sept. 9th 2015, New York City’s Central Park will be sprayed with the toxic pyrethroid “Anvil 10+10”, which is especially dangerous for children.

On Thursday, Sept. 10th, hundreds of children will be gathering in Central Park on the big lawn near 106th Street for the annual homeschool “not back to school” picnic, which includes children of all ages from within NYC and from nearby areas (all are invited).

The No Spray Coalition received this letter:

Since Central Park is being sprayed within that area code 10025 (there is a focus on the park and on bodies of water, and the pond called The Pool is at that location) there is no doubt in my mind the area will be sprayed Wednesday night.

With children picnic-ing for hours on Thursday (eating and yes with unwashed hands and rolling in grass) I think it’s not safe. My family won’t be going, since the spraying takes place the very morning of the picnic.

Please post a specific warning about picnic-ing on sprayed areas close to spray time! I’d be glad to share the link with the community.

Also, please consider a petition or a more formal way (an organized phone call campaign?) to reach out to our representatives about this as I fear a call here or there from the few of us who caught wind of this won’t be terribly effective. I’d share a petition with parents to sign. Many, I think, would be alarmed, this is not widely known and the info is not easy to find.

Mom of two


They actually just cancelled the picnic (the spraying goes on!) last minute because one of the parent-organizers found out the area was going to be sprayed that very morning.

This evening hundreds of homeschoolers from NYC and from adjoining areas are in shock to learn that the uptown Central Park picnic grounds where they have been gathering annually for over a decade to celebrate the start of another year of learning were to be sprayed with toxic pesticides the very morning of their picnic.

The event was just cancelled last minute for health and safety reasons.

The event organizers just learned of the spraying late today by chance and not even 48 hours before this event was to take place (on Thursday the 10th).

No warning was issued to them by the Parks Dept or by any other entity so it was lucky they learned in time before many hundreds of kids of all ages and even babies were put at serious risk.

This annual picnic was cancelled last minute despite months of planning on the part of the organizers and participants alike. Entire families enjoy this special event with babies crawling on the grass, kids tumbling and rolling about, balls being rolled and toys being played with, and all the picnicking children enjoying snacks on the grass between bouts of play and visiting. Little hands go into mouths all too easily and children are a more vulnerable population.

Event organizers are even now scrambling to notify everyone of the huge change in plans.

Disappointment will be felt by all though parents are relieved to know that a potentially unsafe situation will be avoided.

Prospect Park and Green-wood Cemetery are also being sprayed. The pesticide kills enemies of mosquitoes (dragonflies, bats, birds, frogs, fish) as well as mosquitoes, which have a shorter reproductive cycle. So mosquitoes return much more quickly as their natural predators are not able to reproduce with that same quickness.

Here’s the area being sprayed in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island Wednesday night if it doesn’t rain (pray for rain!):