I’m writing in response to Avery Yale Kamila’s April 6 letter on organic lawn care.

As a green industry professional, I work hard to educate people and practice the safe use of pesticides – organic and non-organic products – to manage pests, including invasive weeds and insects, and protect the health of our residents, visitors and bays while being good stewards of the environment.

I have been a Maine resident for 53 years, and started my own lawn care company servicing Maine families and communities over 30 years ago. As my livelihood, I take pride in what I do and services I provide to the citizens and business in Portland. Understanding the proper use of pesticides helps us preserve their effectiveness and take care of problems that can negatively affect our community.

I’ve been watching the public discussion about pesticide use in Portland with growing concern. In particular, there seem to be many misconceptions about the use of organics. Organic lawn care and landscaping doesn’t equal “pesticide-free” or “safer for the environment.” Many pesticides are allowed in organic lawn care, and are used to get rid of insects and weeds. All pesticides, organic or not, must be used properly and as intended.

This shouldn’t continue as an “us vs. them,” “this or that” conversation. The solution is in working together to find balance and committing to using these products and pest control strategies responsibly to protect the health of our families and communities.

George Egbert