Idaho IPM Campaign Gathers Steam
An update from Kathryn Goldman, who is pushing for a county-wide IPM policy to eliminate pesticide uses in public places.
by Josh Vincent and Kathryn Goldman
Since their initial push in January, Pesticide Action Network of Blaine County (PAN BC) has brought their call for safer parks and schools to two additional cities, as well as the Blaine county school district. They’ve also created a draft integrated pest management (IPM) policy for the city of Ketchum, and all while conducting a major public outreach effort involving local landscaping companies. Their goal: to eliminate pesticide uses in public areas by implementing ecological alternatives.
Next on the agenda, PAN BC will facilitate a community meeting on February 24 with at least 20 representatives from local landscaping companies, local governments, and others to improve the draft policy for it’s first hearing at the city, as well as future use at a county level.
“It’s pretty exciting,” says Kathryn Goldman, PAN BC’s campaign director. “We are going to have local landscaping companies, city officials, the grounds maintenance supervisor for the school district and members of our ever-growing coalition providing feedback on a draft IPM policy. We have people from at least 5 local landscaping companies committed to attend the meeting. These folks have expertise in soil science, organic lawn care and native plants, to ensure we craft a policy that works to protect kids and our water and beat weeds. It’s important that this policy not only end the pesticide use, but that it works well on the ground. People who use the parks and playing fields where this policy is implemented will see the success and start to take these practices in to their own backyards. It’s going to be of great benefit to our entire community.”
A portion of the February 24 community meeting will involve drafting a set of “Best, Safe Practices,” for backyard lawn and tree care. The Best, Safe Practices will be a set of guidelines, products and services that local companies will sign off on and offer to their customers. These practices will be a way that individual homeowners can take IPM in to their backyards and gardens this spring. PAN BC will be working with cities and the county to publicize the Best, Safe Practices and the companies who use them this spring. “It’s a way to bring the IPM to local residents and promote companies who use organic products and provide safe services,” says Goldman.
You can follow Pesticide Action Network of Blaine County on their webiste at: www.pesticideactionnetwork.net.