Talent moves toward organic park management

The City of Talent is working to implement safer, organic land care in their public parks. (Jennevieve Fong / News 10)

The City of Talent is working to implement safer, organic land care in their public parks. Along with Eugene and Springfield, the city is a part of a three-year pilot project to transition to organic park management.

"We're taking the chemicals out of lawn care and park management for playing fields in parks and creating a safe environment for children and the overall ecosystem," organic turf grass expert Chip Osborne said.

City officials are teaming up with organizations Beyond Toxics and Beyond Pesticides to sponsor a workshop this week in the Rogue Valley to learn about safer land care.

"What's currently being used in the pesticides under the model of risk assessment, how they were evaluated by the government, we're really finding is no longer relevant to what science is telling us that these acute exposures are less relevant than the very low-dose exposure," Osborne said. "With that in mind, it's been a goal of ours so that we can have a safer place for children to play."

At Wednesday's meeting, the organizations will guide guests on the practices and products to support healthy soil and better turf grass to resist pest and weed pressure.

"Bottom line is that we don't need to use toxic chemicals to have a beautiful park or playing field or home lawn," executive director of Beyond Pesticides Jay Feldman said. "Our goal is to manage the turf systems to the expectation of the community at the cost and they're currently spending."

The workshop is scheduled for Wednesday at 6:30 P.M. at the Talent Civic Center. The event will bring park maintenance staff from nine local governments to Jackson County.

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