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.
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 on an athletic fields pilot program to compare fields managed by conventional methods to fields managed with only listed products. Ten rectangular, multipurpose fields in local parks have been selected for the pilot. Fields were selected in pairs based on hours of permitted play, ballfield data, and visual inspection to ensure consistent comparisons between the two different management methods.
Montgomery Parks is soliciting proposals from qualified companies to maintain the ten athletic fields using both organic and conventional pesticide management methods, so that comparative data can be collected. Each method will be used on five designated athletic fields. Details of the solicitation can be found on The Maryland-National Capital Park website, as well as on the E-Maryland Marketplace website.
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 to playing fields, managed turf and treatments within 25 feet of a stream or creek. The list is updated to provide at least 48-hour notice for applications.
Planned Application Date
Planned Time Range
Description of Area to be Treated
Cabin John Athletic Area
Fields 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 – Warning Tracks
Martin Luther King Jr. Recreational Park
4/22 – 4/26/19
Laytonia Recreational Park
Turf adjacent to athletic fields
Dimension, Batttleship III
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 feet 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.