Vegetation Management In City Parks

An integrated approach to vegetation management

The Parks & Recreation Department manages over 4,275 acres of public lands for parks, trails, conservation lands, and landscaped right-of-ways, with new lands and facilities being added nearly every year. Through Integrated Pest Management (IPM), the department manages pests that are detrimental to the health, function, or aesthetic value of parks in an effective and environmentally responsible manner, with utmost consideration to public and employee safety. Thoughtful, timely, and selective use of herbicides is just one tool of many used to maintain parklands. Learn more in the Parks and Recreation

Turf Management Plan (PDF).

Fast Facts About Weed Control In City Parks

  • In all City parks, herbicides are NOT used in or on picnic shelters, playgrounds, volleyball courts, splash decks, or other water sources.
  • Parks and Recreation exceeds legal requirements by posting areas to be treated 24 hours before application and 24 hours after application. Multiple signs are used to mark treated areas.
  • Thoughtful, timely, and selective use of herbicides is just one tool of many used to maintain parklands.
  • Weed control on City Open Space

Herbicide-Free Parks and FAQ

At the request of citizens, Parks and Recreation has designated certain parks as herbicide-free public spaces (PDF) These parks contain lower levels of weed infestation, allowing Parks staff to maintain the parks’ desirable turf grasses with manual techniques.

All playgrounds, dog parks, and spray deck areas are herbicide free.

Herbicide-free parks will rotate annually, based on an annual weed inventory of the park system, park maintenance costs, protection of park infrastructure, and public input. 

Current Year Herbicide-Free Parks

The Vegetation Management Tool Box

Weed prevention is the key

Parks and Recreation strives to develop low-maintenance, minimum herbicide use landscapes. Comprehensive landscape design practices like proper plant selection and planting design; use of geotextiles for weed control, surface stabilization and good construction practices are our best tools for reducing maintenance costs and herbicide use.

Developed parkland management strategies, ranked in order of frequency of use: 

1. IPM-based landscape design.
2. Mowing and irrigation.
3. Fertilization, aeration, top dressing, reseeding.
4. Mechanical control (such as weed pulling and trimming.)
5. Mulching.
6. Field rotation and use restrictions.
7. Geo-textile and barrier fabrics.
8. Herbicides.

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