When you visit a local park, you probably don't think much about what
goes into keeping it looking good, day to day. But some people would
rather not have their kids and pets romping in areas sprayed with
weed-killers and pesticides. They're asking local governments to find
safer alternatives. About 80 parks in the Northwest are now
pesticide-free, and it's a growing trend.
According to Shelley Connor, with the , city park departments in Oregon have been receptive to the idea.
"Definitely. The parks departments that we've been working with or
community members have worked with, have all been very open and willing
to try something new - and to give it a shot."
Connor says, not spraying is better for park users and pets who may be
sensitive to chemicals, and is better for the environment.
"Pesticides don't stay in the place oftentimes where you put them -
they travel. We're helping to keep them out of waterways and out of the
way of harming people."
Neighbors are sometimes asked to help mulch or pull a few weeds in the
park to eliminate the need for spraying, and there are other methods of
weed control that don't involve chemicals. Rosetta Park in Eugene is
the latest pesticide-free space, which opened this week. Others are in
Milwaukie, Oregon City, Portland and Springfield.
A tookit for creating a pesticide-free park, pesticide-related health
info, and tips for homeowners' and renters' yards is available at www.pesticide.org