Agendas and Minutes

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission (View All)

Parks Commission Study Session Minutes

Monday, October 15, 2007

City of Ashland





October 15, 2007



Present:         Commissioners Gardiner, Lewis, Noraas, Rosenthal; Superintendent Gies

Absent:          Commissioner Eggers; City Council Liaison Navickas; Director Robertson;

                     Superintendent Teige


Lewis called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. at the Parks office, 340 S. Pioneer.


Gies welcomed Donn Todt and invited him to speak to the commission about the Parks Department’s policies regarding pesticides.

Todt, the Parks staff horticulturist/arborist and certified/licensed pesticide applicator, reported helping with the development of the department’s pesticides policy and said he was influenced by Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and her reporting on environmental impacts of chemical use. He reviewed the department’s policy, reading through the following points:

1.       Minimal use of pesticides, including herbicides, insecticides, and growth retardants.

a.       Only the safest, lowest toxicity products available will be used. No “restricted use” pesticides will be used.

b.      Cultural methods will be relied upon to encourage high quality turf; no large-scale broadcast applications of “weed killers” on lawns.

c.       Primary species, which do not require high inputs of pesticide, will be used in landscaping.

d.      Staff will monitor pest populations and rely on biological control when appropriate and effective.

e.      No spraying within 15 feet of a playground facility.

2.       Minimum of one staff member retained at all times as a trained and licensed Oregon Certified Pesticide Applicator.

3.       Certified Applicator responsible for overseeing and authorizing pesticides used by Parks Division staff.

a.       No employee will use or apply any pesticide without prior training.

b.      No employee will use or apply any pesticide mechanically or by hand without event specific authorization.

c.       An annual review of policies and procedures regarding the use and application of pesticides will be presented to staff. Attendance at the review is mandatory for all Parks Division staff.

4.       Park Superintendent and Certified Applicator solely authorized to purchase pesticides.

5.       All pesticides stored in a safe, secure environment, with the Park Superintendent and Certified Applicator given exclusive access to storage area.

6.       Mandatory posting within spraying area if applying pesticides with an acute toxicity greater than table salt (LD 50).

7.       Violation of any pesticides policies subject to disciplinary action.

Todt reported that large-scale or “broadcast” applications are not used for killing lawn weeds in parks, resulting in turf containing both grass and weeds. He said that certain species of plants, such as roses, are manually sprayed but are purposely kept isolated from other plantings. He indicated that chemical applications require completion of a “Pesticide Application Record,” a report that is retained for three years. With respect to schools, Todt stated that, while the school district’s policy differs from both the City’s and Parks’, the department follows the school’s policy when spraying on school grounds.

Todt spoke about the toxicities of the sprays, indicating that the department mainly uses glyphosate products. He said that table salt is 1.5 times more toxic than glyphosate products. He spoke of the need to openly discuss pesticides usage with the public and said he welcomes discussions that alleviate fears. Todt said that the Parks Department’s restrictive, self-imposed policy is carefully followed.

Discussion Among Commissioners

Commissioners asked a number of questions about the department’s pesticides policy and usage. When asked about non-native species control in Lithia Park, Todt reported that a combination of manual and chemical control efforts were used for the ivy, vinca, and hypericum found in the upper park. He said the manual control efforts included placing cardboard over the plants to allow them to recede before removing them. When asked about the way in which the chemicals are applied, Todt stated that they are sprayed with a handheld applicator, never with power equipment.

Commissioners thanked Todt for his presentation and asked to be invited to his springtime pesticides talk during a quarterly safety meeting for staff.

ADJOURNMENT – By consensus, with no further business, Lewis adjourned the meeting at 8:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Susan Dyssegard, Ashland Parks and Recreation

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