Modified: April 12, 2021 2:32pm

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The Erie County Environmental Management Council (EMC) and the Erie County branch of Cornell Cooperative Extension have partnered with the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning (ECDEP) to launch the “Name the Gnome Contest” for our newest addition: a four-foot tall gnome statue. The gnome, who serves as the mascot for the Home for the Gnomes Healthy Lawns Campaign, will travel throughout the county and visit parks, schools, libraries, gardens and festivals.

Healthy lawns do not require pesticides. In fact, overuse and misuse of lawn chemicals can be harmful to humans, pets, wildlife and waterbodies. Collectively, residents’ take care of approximately 122 square miles, or 78,000 acres, of lawn in Erie County, with their lawn chemical usage on average adding up to approximately 3 pounds per acre, or 234,000 pounds, of lawn chemicals per year.

To raise awareness about this issue, Erie County is asking local residents to help to name the gnome by proposing a moniker that reflects the gnome’s mission and will help make people smile.

To enter the contest, participants must submit a suggested name via email using the subject line “Gnome” to by April 30, 2021. Besides the gnome name, contest participants are asked to include their name, address, phone number, and the name of the school they attended (if applicable.) The contest is open to all Erie County residents. Multiple entries can be submitted. The winner of the contest will be revealed next month, with the contest winner receiving recognition for their clever word play with a thank you gift and a photograph with the gnome.

“We can’t have a nameless gnome,” said DEP Commissioner Thomas Hersey. “We look forward to having fun as we name the gnome. Our EMC and the Cornell Cooperative Extension have been working hard on this effort and we are hoping this fun activity will increase the visibility of this important initiative.”

Contest entrants will also be encouraged to “Take the Pledge” and eliminate the use of pesticides in their lawn, including insecticides, herbicides (including weed-killers and “weed and feed” products), fungicides and other chemical pesticides. Those who agree to the pledge will receive a free lawn sign that will indicate to their neighbors know that their lawn is healthy and safe.

For more information:

On the Erie County Healthy Lawns Initiative, visit