September 26, 2016

The Use of Herbicides in Our Parks

Controversy has arisen recently over the use of two common herbicides to treat weeds in the city parks –glyphosate and 2,4-D. We urge people to utilize sources of information that are based on scientific study. One source is the National Pesticide Information Center (http://npic.orst.edu/index.html).

According to the NPIC, there is no conclusive evidence that glyphosate or 2,4-D causes cancer. The latest scientific studies have led the European Food Safety Agency, UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, and the EPA to conclude that glyphosate is NOT likely to cause cancer in humans. (http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/09/17/494301343/epa-weighs-in-on-glyphosate-says-it-doesnt-cause-cancer?) The important facts to remember are that both glyphosate and 2,4-D have low toxicity, are broken down in the soil by bacteria, and exposure is eliminated by not touching treated vegetation while it is still wet.

Colorado Springs parks are treated for weed control only once or twice a year, as their very limited budget allows. The contractors follow strict procedures that minimize exposure to the public and prevent drift beyond the park; also, they do not spray near Shooks Run Creek. The Parks Department regularly tests new herbicides to find those most effective in our area with the lowest risk to the public and the environment.

  • MSRNA is in favor of continued testing of alternative herbicides to identify the most effective and least harmful treatments
  • MSRNA is working with Parks to provide the MSR neighborhood advance notification when spraying will be done in North and Mid Shooks Run and O’Byrne Parks; signage will be improved
  • MSRNA will continue to work with Parks to create healthy and diverse park habitats within the neighborhood while saving water and other resources and being conscious of budgetary constraints

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