Oakland, CA – On Tuesday, July 16, 2019, the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors unanimously approved Resolution 2019-07-187 calling for an immediate ban on glyphosate use in picnic areas with full elimination in all developed park areas by the end of 2020. Glyphosate is currently used as part of the Park District’s integration pest management program for fire ignition prevention and vegetation maintenance around park structures, fences, walkways, parking areas, and in public right-of-way areas including roads, bike paths, and trails.
“The Park District has taken large steps over the past two years to reduce glyphosate use and find alternatives,” said East Bay Regional Park District President Ayn Wieskamp. “We are proud to be a leader in parkland management.”
“Managing the complex spectrum of land that the Park District does, with requisite state and federal requirements, is not easy or inexpensive,” added Wieskamp.
The Park District recognizes that there are public concerns about glyphosate use. In 2016, the Park District updated its integrated pest management practices to focus on early intervention strategies and the use of organic products when possible as an alternative to glyphosate. Over the past two years, the Park District has reduced glyphosate use by 66% for park maintenance.
“The Park District plans to phase out glyphosate use in developed park areas by the end of 2020, including parking lots, campgrounds, lawns, and paved trails,” said East Bay Regional Park District General Manager Robert Doyle. “The Park District does not use glyphosate near play areas or water fountains.”
The phasing out of glyphosate use for developed park areas will take substantial financial resources and significantly impact the Park District’s general fund and staffing levels. The Park District Board of Directors has asked staff to report back to the board with an assessment of staff and fiscal needs.
The East Bay Regional Park District is the largest regional park system in the nation, comprising 73 parks, 55 miles of shoreline, and 1,250 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and nature learning. The Park District receives more than 25 million visits annually throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Dave Mason, Public Information Supervisor