Pesticide Parks Program
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Los Alamos County Parks

Responsible Pesticide Parks Program


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LOS ALAMOS COUNTY IPM (pdf)

Responsible Pesticide Parks Program

Los Alamos County Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) cares for more than 201 acres of “Standard developed” parkland, 588 acres of undeveloped or nonstandard parkland (much of this is natural area within developed parks) and 205 acres of golf course. Over the last several years, we have steadily reduced pesticide use. In the early 2017, PROS adopted the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) philosophy.

What is a Responsible Pesticide Park?

A Responsible Pesticide use park is one that is maintained with limited use of registered pesticides By trained and licensed pesticide applicators. If it becomes necessary to apply pesticides at a park, the site will be clearly posted before, during and after the application to notify users.

What makes a successful Responsible Pesticide Park?

 The most successful limited pesticide parks are easy to maintain. When deciding to use a pesticide, our Licensed Applicators consider the least toxic application of pesticides to achieve an acceptable threshold of control of weeds or pests. New parks and landscapes are designed with low pesticide needs in mind.

How are pesticide-free parks different? 

Some areas that are difficult to maintain — large shrub beds, fence lines and spaces beneath trees — may look less manicured and more natural than at other parks. Parks and Open Space staff will continue to make all parks and open space inviting for all visitors.

Although pesticide use has been greatly reduced, pesticides are used when necessary to manage noxious and invasive weeds as well as pest infestations near higher-use areas. In these instances, pesticides reduce invasive, non-native weeds to allow diverse, native habitat to establish and thrive, and maintain the clean appearance of parks. 

The PROS Division has adopted the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) philosophy

That means that we carefully:

  • Set thresholds for weeds
  • Monitor weed growth
  • Choose the most effective and least toxic method for control when weed populations increase beyond acceptable thresholds.

Our employees effectively:

  • Maintain parks while minimizing pesticide use
  • Set aside sensitive areas where pesticides are restricted
  • Improved park designs to limit future need for pesticides
  • Identified parks where pesticides aren’t needed at all.