Parks and Recreation is committed to following a pest management program that follows the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Integrated Pest Management is an internationally recognized methodology that establishes an effective and environmentally sensitive response to pests, (insects, weeds, pathogens, rodent and other vertebrates). IPM establishes a sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, physical, and if necessary, chemical tools in a way that minimizes health, environmental and economic risks.
Objectives of this IPM plan include:
· Elimination of significant threats caused by pests to the health and safety of staff and the public.
· Prevention of loss or damage to City owned assets or property by pests.
· Protection of environmental quality.
· A progressive move over time to reduce chemical pest controls.
IPM has been used by Parks staff in landscape management since 2003 resulting in the following:
· Increased mulching of landscape beds to minimize herbicide treatments.
· Replacement of plant materials with native pest free species and low maintenance design.
· Shrub cut back renovation to minimize pest harborage.
· Mowing reductions, mulching leaves and grass clippings, elimination of fertilizers on lawn areas.
· Nutrient Management Plan for athletic field fertilizer maintenance compliant with water quality initiatives.
· Licensed Commercial Pesticide Applicators following state and federal regulations.
· Elimination of the most harmful chemical products used in pest control.
· Current pest control products used are the same or less harmful than what is available at retail outlets to the general public.
· Use of organic only pesticide products on playgrounds or spray-grounds
· Enhanced record management of pesticide applications tracking reductions.
· Environmental and staff safety training.
IPM Policy was adopted formally by City Council April 2015. (For a link to the IPM Policy click here.)
Notification of Pesticide Applications
When pesticide applications are scheduled on City property maintained by the Parks Division, staff and service providers will provide notification in accordance with the City IPM Policy, including specifically:
· Posting a pest control information sign at a prominent place that is adjacent to the location of pesticide application to include name of product used and staff contact information.
· Application area will be marked with small yellow flag markers placed along pedestrian sidewalk perimeter or areas exceeding 25 square feet in area.
· Both organic and synthetic pesticide products will be posted.
· Application areas shall remain posted for 24 hours after application or following regulations for posting required under law by VDACS.
· School administration will be notified 24 hours in advance of any pesticide application on school grounds.
Pesticide Application Schedules
Pesticide application is very dependent on weather and site conditions and therefore exact scheduling of application dates is tentative at best. Every effort is used to select the least harmful product, applied in the safest manner for the safety of staff, the public, and the environment.
Please consider the following scheduling that will apply to applications made only if determined to be needed at that location:
· Take note and pay attention to areas posted with appropriate signage and flags.
· Pesticide applications, if needed, will be scheduled for School sites on Tuesday thru Thursday, the first and third week of the month.
· Application at school sites will be scheduled for dates of school closure whenever possible.
· Pesticide applications, if needed, will be scheduled for Park locations on Tuesday thru Thursday the second and fourth week of the month.
· Pesticide application in the Right of Way (ROW) will be made on a as needed basis and posted if area is adjacent to pedestrian walks.