As of July 2016, Montgomery Parks adapted our pesticide notification and use program to adhere to changes in legislation passed by the Montgomery County Council. Montgomery Parks is embracing new ways to manage weeds and pest issues in our parks while continuing to protect and conserve our valuable natural and cultural resources. We are committed to balancing the demand for recreation with the need for conservation as we work to sustainably manage a park system that meets the needs of current and future generations.
Montgomery Parks Pesticide Use Quick Facts:
For more information on Pesticide-Free Parks, the Athletic Field Pilot Program and Transition Plan, Montgomery Parks’ Integrated Pest Management Program, and other FAQs regarding Montgomery Parks’ Pesticide Program, please see below.
Our goal is to notify the community of pesticide applications via our website at least 48 hours in advance of application, via signage posted at the site of the planned application at least 48 hours in advance of the application. Please find current pesticide application alerts below.
Schedule for March 20, 2017 through April 1, 2017
|Park Name||Planned Application Date||Planned Time Range||Place||Description of Area to be Treated||Product||Reason||Posted on Web|
|Rock Creek SVU #2 and #3||March 26 through March 31, 2017||7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.||Beach Drive Area||Wooded Area along Beach Drive||Garlon 3A||Invasive Weeds||3/24, 11:10 a.m.|
|Germantown Town Center Urban Park||March 29 through March 31, 2017||7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.||Landscape Areas||All of landscape mulch areas throughout park||Prosecutor PRO and Surflan||Invasive Weeds||03/22, 10:41 a.m.|
|Rock Creek Regional Park||March 27 through March 31||8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.||GoApe||GoApe Area||Garlon and Aquaneat||Invasive Species||03/23, 11:05 a.m.|
|Rock Creek Regional Park||March 27 through March 31||8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.||Meadowside Nature Center Trails||Along the Trails||Garlon and Aquaneat||Invasive Species||03/23, 11:05 a.m.|
|Brookside Garden||March 28||9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.||Rose Garden||Rose Garden Area||Daconil||Disease||03/24, 2:42 p.m.|
Providing the community with access to pesticide-free parks is important to us. We have launched a pilot program to manage certain parks in different regions of Montgomery County without the use of pesticides. This will help us learn about the maintenance impacts and best practices associated with maintaining parks with alternative methods. As we learn from the pilot program, the parks designated as pesticide-free may change. A park may be removed from the program and/or the program may expand to include additional parks. The following are the list of the pesticide-free parks:
Athletic Field Pilot Program
Montgomery Parks staff will work with an expert in organic turf management to launch an athletic field pilot program in the fall of 2017. We will evaluate listed and organic pesticides for maintaining our athletic fields to determine if we can transition to maintain of all playing fields without the use of registered pesticide by 2020. This project is contingent on available funding. All other athletic fields are managed following guidelines in our Integrated Pest Management Program.
Integrated Pest Management in Montgomery Parks
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) includes alternative methods of managing weeds, insects, and other pest issues to minimize the use of pesticides. We follow IPM principles to determine the best management practices for each facility and asset. Some alternative methods are hand pulling and mechanical removal of weeds, additional string trimming, propane flame weeding and application of organic approved pesticides in County Code 33B.
Reducing pesticide use begins with sustainable design, durable equipment and quality materials. Well-trained staff is equally important; Parks’ training programs emphasize
In addition to posting pesticide application information on our website in advance of application, and via signage both in advance and post application, Montgomery Parks will report on its pesticide reduction program bi-annually on January 15 and July 15 starting in 2017. Reports will be available on the website.
Montgomery Parks posts up-to-date information about pesticide applications on our website. Notifications are posted 48 hours in advance of planned pesticide applications to playing fields, managed turf, treatments within 25’ ft. of waterbody, train tracks and courts–with the exception of emergency applications. White pre-notification signs provide details on the planned time of application, the pesticide name, the location treated, and the reason. Maryland State Department of Agriculture yellow signs are posted at the time of application and remain in place at least 48 hours following a pesticide application to areas along trails, tracks, near water, athletic fields, turfgrass and ornamental plants.
EPA registered pesticides are permitted in areas such as gardens, athletics fields, near event centers, and in natural areas where weeds and other pests threaten the health of trees or shrubs. Pesticides are used to reduce harmful pests, prevent significant economic damage, to control noxious weeds, invasive species, disease vectors and to treat stinging insects and plants that pose an imminent threat to human health.
Montgomery Parks is making every effort to provide pesticide-free playgrounds and parks. Montgomery County Code includes provisions whereby pesticides may be applied in a playground or pesticide-free park when needed to protect human health or to prevent significant economic damage. For example, if there is a wasps nest or poisonous stinging weeds on the playground, a pesticide may be used if we are not able to resolve the problem in any other ways. Then in such a situation, the treated area will be closed for a brief period while the emergency is managed and re-opened as soon as possible.
While it may appear that the staff person was applying a pesticide, they many have been spraying water or liquid fertilizer. It is also possible that it was a listed pesticide; these products do not require pre-notification. Listed pesticide products include corn gluten based herbicides, oils, soaps, and products containing organic or minimum risk approved ingredients (cloves, eggs, mint). If you have questions or concerns that a pesticide was being applied improperly or without proper notification, please contact 301-495-2595 or info@MontgomeryParks.org.
Listed pesticides are active ingredients which are recommended by the National Organic Standards Board and published as the National list. A pesticide is designated as a “minimum risk pesticide” under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. Click here for the listed pesticides.
Alternative strategies include hand-weeding, mechanical weed removal, additional string trimming, propane flame weeding, and the use of listed pesticides that are allowed.
Managing pesticide-free park spaces is labor-intensive; and requires hiring additional staff and volunteer support for reducing and/or eliminating pesticides. Please contact our volunteer services office.
Please contact us at 301-495-2595 or info@MontogmeryParks.org. Be sure to mention “Pesticide Reduction Program” in your subject line.