Board of Supervisors Directs Parks Department to Formalize Pesticide Use Policy
"Milwaukee County has a responsibility to protect the health and safety of everyone who uses our parks and facilities..."
MILWAUKEE – The Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a resolution directing the Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture to formalize its pesticide and herbicide policy Thursday.
“Recent court cases have shown that the pesticide manufacturers have failed to properly inform the public about the dangers posed by their products, leading to tragic outcomes in many cases. Milwaukee County has a responsibility to protect the health and safety of everyone who uses our parks and facilities, and one way to do that is provide the public with accurate information about the chemicals we use. If the pesticide manufacturers won’t educate the public about their products, we will,” said Supervisor Shea.
The action by the Board of Supervisors directs the Parks Department formalize its chemical use policy with a department-wide Integrated Pest Management plan. Currently, the department only employs such a plan at county golf courses.
Milwaukee County Parks currently follows a “least-use” chemical policy, which limits but allows the use of fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides on open green spaces, golf courses, and baseball diamonds. Current policy also requires signage announcing the use of pesticides.
The supervisors want to ensure that the policy is publicly accessible and easy to understand. Current policy is not posted online and it can take several days for constituents to determine what chemicals have been applied in public spaces.
Supervisors Steve Shea, Marina Dimitrijevic, and Jason Haas initiated the effort to have the Parks department update, clarify, and publicize its chemical use policies in response to constituent inquiries about the use and application of chemicals like glyphosate in county parks.
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"It is our duty to protect the citizens of Milwaukee County."