Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Adopt healthy weed control

The city of Hailey has made some strong steps in the direction of greener, more efficient buildings and energy-conservation policies through the Hailey Environmental Leadership Program. Likewise, the city should change its use of toxic pesticides on city property. These chemicals have known, serious health effects, particularly for children, and we should take steps to protect kids and keep our water clear of these chemicals.

Pesticide Action Network of Blaine County is a coalition of citizens who want to change weed-control practices at schools and parks and on the Wood River Trail. The coalition has proposed a better way to manage weeds, called an integrated pest management policy, which will protect kids and our community's health. This policy calls for prioritizing non-chemical means of pest and weed control over toxic chemicals through mulching, pulling, nontoxic weed killers and prevention strategies.

In April, the city of Ketchum adopted this type of policy to keep park users safe from the health effects associated with toxic chemicals. I think the city of Hailey should follow suit to protect our kids and the whole community. The Hailey City Council will review the Pesticide Action Network's proposed policy on June 27. Please attend the meeting to tell city officials to take this common-sense approach to keep parks safe for our kids. You can go to to learn more about lawn- and yard-care practices to protect our kids and keep chemicals out of our water.

Megan Stevenson


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