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City Limits the Use of Pesticides and Blowers for City-maintained Landscaping

December 11, 2018 – The City of Laguna Woods is pleased to announce several environmentally-minded changes to its landscape maintenance practices. On December 20, 2018, BrightView Landscape Services will begin to maintain the landscaping in the City’s public street medians, parkways, and parks, as well as at City Hall. Under an agreement approved by the Laguna Woods City Council, BrightView Landscape Services will implement a new “Weed Control and Integrated Pesticide Management Policy” to limit the City’s already minimal use of pesticides, eliminate the use of gas-powered blowers, and dramatically reduce the use of non-gas-powered blowers.

Notable changes include:

Prioritization of organic pesticides. When manual, mechanical, and other non-chemical control methods prove insufficient, the use of pesticides that meet organic criteria established by the United States Department of Agriculture will be prioritized over all others. As is the City’s current practice, no pesticides of any kind will be used in “A Place for Paws” Dog Park or its parking lot.

Prohibition of the use of glyphosate and pesticides containing glyphosate. Glyphosate has been linked to a variety of health issues and is the active ingredient in Roundup®, a brand name herbicide.

Prohibition of the use of neonicotinoids and pesticides containing neonicotinoids. Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticides that have been linked to declines in bee populations and pollination.

Prohibition of the use of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides. Second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides have longer half-lives than other rodenticides, can cause sublethal effects in wildlife, and are toxic to many birds and mammals.

Prohibition of the use of gas-powered blowers. Gas-powered blowers, which generally result in higher greenhouse gas emissions and louder noise than electric-powered blowers, will no longer be used to maintain any of the City’s landscaping, sidewalks, or parking lots.

Reduction of the use of non-gas-powered blowers. Electric-powered blowers will only be used to maintain the City’s parking lots during lower-traffic weekday hours; leaf litter and debris in all other areas will be raked, swept, or vacuumed as-needed.