On July 16, the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors unanimously approved Resolution 2019-07-187, calling for an immediate ban on glyphosate use in picnic areas with full elimination in all developed park areas by the end of 2020. Glyphosate is currently used as part of the Park District’s pest integration management program for fire ignition prevention and vegetation maintenance around park structures, fences, walkways, and parking areas, and in public right-of-way areas including roads, bike paths, and trails.

“The Park District has taken large steps over the past two years to reduce glyphosate use and find alternatives,” said EBRPD President Ayn Wieskamp. “Managing the complex spectrum of land that the Park District does, with requisite state and federal requirements, is not easy or inexpensive. We are proud to be a leader in parkland management.”

The Park District recognizes that there are public concerns about glyphosate use. In 2016, the Park District updated its integrated pest management practices to focus on early intervention strategies and the use of organic products when possible as an alternative to glyphosate. Over the past two years, the Park District has reduced glyphosate use by 66% for park maintenance.

“The Park District plans to phase out glyphosate use in developed park areas by the end of 2020, including parking lots, campgrounds, lawns, and paved trails,” said EBRPD General Manager Robert Doyle. “The Park District does not use glyphosate near play areas or water fountains.”

The phasing out of glyphosate use for developed park areas will take substantial financial resources and significantly impact the Park District’s general fund and staffing levels. The Park District Board of Directors has asked staff to report back to the board with an assessment of staff and fiscal needs.