A small sign, stuck in a large fence, alerts residents about pesticides.
Laura Cahn lives behind the Yale University fields on Cleveland Road. She says when Yale workers sprayed August 7, the smell was unbearable.
"The air was thick with this poisonous, nasty smell and walking the few feet from my back door to my car gave me a very bad headache," she said.
"I'm frustrated that people don't know better."
Some neighbors like Caroline Jacobs didn't notice the smell, but think alternatives are worth looking into.
"If there are enough people that say, 'please don't do it' or use something else, that's going to do the same thing, it should be done," Jacobs said.
Cahn and others from her block watch group are opposed to using pesticides. She cites a 2009 law prohibiting pesticides at Child Care centers and schools up until the eighth grade, except in emergencies to eliminate health threats.
So in 2011, Cahn met with Yale and she says they agreed.
"They would stop spraying before notifying us, so at least we'd have a chance to protect ourselves, close our windows take our kids in, not take our pets on the field," Cahn said.
But two years went by, people left, and things changed.
"There was no institutional memory, so we had to meet with them again," Cahn said.
Yale spokesperson Tom Conroy declined an on-camera interview, but says the university only uses approved products and methods in its landscaping.
After their meeting, Yale agreed to suspend treating the fields while it explores other options to maintain the playability.
"I'm not frustrated with Yale. I just want Yale to understand it has a huge responsibility to be a world leader in this field."
For now Yale's grass is a little greener, and Cahn is hoping that in two years, they won't be surprised by a spray again.
For more information on pesticide safety, visit the DEEP's Pesticide Management website.
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