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Montgomery Parks Pesticide Reduction and Integrated Pest Management Program

Pesticide Use in Montgomery Parks

Montgomery Parks began implementing segments of the pesticide use restrictions law beginning on July 1, 2016. Bill 52-14 Pesticides – Notice Requirements – Cosmetic Pesticide Use Restrictions was enacted by Montgomery County Council October 2015 and was adopted into County Code Ch. 33B Pesticide Use.

Through this program, 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 manage a sustainable park system that meets the needs of current and future generations.

Pesticide-Free Areas:

Montgomery Parks has launched a pesticide-free parks pilot program to manage certain parks in different regions of Montgomery County without the use of pesticides. This program will allow us to learn about the impacts and best practices of 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.

Athletic Field Pilot Program

Montgomery Parks is working with an organic turf management expert to conduct a pilot program on five athletic fields. Through the program, we will compare five conventionally managed fields with five fields managed with organic methods and listed products.

Some of the criteria being considered in field selection for the pilot program include:

  • Level of maintenance – local park athletic fields; non-irrigated
  • Cool season turf type
  • Mowing height required for use of facility and level of play
  • Number of field use hours based on permitted hours

The athletic fields pilot program will evaluate organic methods and certain “listed” pesticide products that are approved by the Department of Agriculture.  This pilot study will help us determine if managing athletic fields with only listed pesticides may be feasible for all local park fields. The project is contingent on available funding.

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 organically 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

  • Regular monitoring of pest problems
  • Proper use of alternative practices
  • Communication to update staff on changes related to pesticide use in our parks

Pesticide Application Notifications

The below table includes a schedule of upcoming pesticide applications. The list is updated to provide at least 48-hour notice for applications.

 

 

Park Name  Planned Application Date Planned Time Range Description of Area to be Treated  Product Reason
Owens Local Park 10/8-10/12 7:00am-11:00am Baseball diamond Prosecutor Pro Noxious Weeds
Olney Manor Recreational Park 10/8 – 10/12 6:00am-2:00pm Fields 1,2,3,4,5 infield and warning track and dog park Prosecutor Pro Weed control
Fairland Recreational Park 10/8 – 10/12 6:00am-2:00pm Fields 1,2 infield and warning track Prosecutor Pro Weed control
Layhill Local Park 10/8 – 10/12 6:00am-2:00pm Fields 2, 4 – infields Prosecutor Pro Weed control
Greenwood Local Park 10/8 – 10/12 6:00am-2:00pm Fields 1,2 – infields Prosecutor Pro Weed control
Ednor Local Park 10/8 – 10/12 6:00am-2:00pm Fields 1,2 – infields Prosecutor Pro Weed control
Columbia Local Park 10/8 – 10/12 6:00am-2:00pm Fields 1,2,3 – infields Prosecutor Pro Weed control
East Norbeck Local Park 10/8 – 10/12 6:00am-2:00pm Fields 1,2 – infield, warning tracks Prosecutor Pro Weed control
Manor Oaks Local Park 10/8 – 10/12 6:00am-2:00pm Field 1 infield Prosecutor Pro Weed control
Cloverly Local Park 10/8 – 10/12 6:00am-2:00pm Fields 1,2 – infield Prosecutor Pro Weed control
Burtonsville Local Park 10/8 – 10/12 6:00am-2:00pm Fields 1,2 – infield Prosecutor Pro Weed control
Northwest Branch Recreational  Park 10/8 – 10/12 6:00am-2:00pm Field 1 – infield, warning tracks Prosecutor Pro Weed control
Cloverly Local Park 10/8 – 10/12 6:00am-2:00pm Fields 1,2 – infield Prosecutor Pro Weed control
Crabbs Branch Stream Valley Park 10/8 – 10/12 7:00am-5:00pm Natural areas within stream valley Aquaneat and/or Rodeo Non-Native Invasive Plant Control
North Chevy Chase Local Park 10/8 – 10/12 7:00am-5:00pm Natural areas throughout entire park Aquaneat and/or Garlon 3A Non-Native Invasive Plant Control
Blair Local Park 10/15 – 10/19 6:00am-2:00pm Baseball and softball field 1 & 2, infield, warning tracks Prosecutor Pro Weeds and grass growing in from seeding and renovation work
Rock Creek Regional Park 10/15 – 10/19 7:00am-5:00pm wooded areas along Hiking/Biking Trail, Dam, and Spillway Aquaneat and/or Garlon 3A Invasive Plant Control/Habitat Restoration

Montgomery Parks Staff will make every effort possible to properly notify the community when a pesticide application is scheduled.  Weather permitting, applications will be posted on the website with signage installed on site.

Advanced notifications of pesticide applications

  • White pre-notification signs are posted 48 hours in advance at the site of applications to playing fields, managed turf and treatments within 25 ft. of a stream or creek.
  • Yellow pesticide application signs are installed at the time of application for areas along trails, train tracks, near water, turfgrass and ornamental plantings. Signs remain in place for at least 48 hours following pesticide applications.

Please contact Montgomery Parks if you have any questions.


 

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Last Updated: October 12, 2018