Harmful insects and weeds are controlled in parks using an integrated pest management strategy.
Bruce Azawa, Parks & Facilities Manager, provided an overview of the strategy at the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District Board of Directors meeting on May 29.
He said that first, the focus is on pest prevention. Pesticides are used as needed. Multiple control methods are utilized. The plan calls for identifying pests and monitoring them, setting thresholds to prevent and control them.
He added that pesticides are not automatically used to control pests. First staff looks at trying to prevent them from establishing.
They consider why a pest is present; then look at ways to control an insect infestation or weeds.
Weeds represent the most prevalent pest the district deals with. They can be controlled using goats. When there are a lot of weeds, chemicals are used to control them.
Glysophate, the chemical that Roundup contains, is used the most. However, its use has been reduced by 20%. Azawa pointed out that the EPA found that there is no risk to humans; the spray is not considered carcinogenic. On the other hand, the World Health Organization maintains it causes cancer.
On staff, two state licensed pest control application experts are the only ones qualified to make a recommendation on the use of a pesticide, he noted.
Azawa said that the district is exploring the idea of a pesticide free park. The effect of this change could then be studied and compared with other existing parks.
Educating the public about how the district controls pests is an important goal.
Dave Wetmore provided an update on the Little League Intermediate World Series, which Livermore will host this summer.
He talked about new features. One, the opening ceremonies will take place at an Oakland A's game on Saturday night. Another change, ESPN will air all of the games on one of its networks, not just the championship weekend.
Twelve teams will arrive July 26, six international champions and six U.S. champions. Play will take place July 28 to August 4 at Max Baer Park.