Gaithersburg, MD Integrated Pest Management Policy
Status: Initiated in 1997
In 1997 , the Mayor and Council requested a citizen Pesticide Task Force develop charges for Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The charges included:
- The City of Gaithersburg shall adopt IPM as its pest management strategy for all City property.
- The City of Gaithersburg shall develop an outreach program to educate homeowner associations, individual homeowners, commercial property owners, and lawn and garden companies on IPM and encourage citywide participation.
- The City of Gaithersburg shall comply with applicable State regulations for managing, applying, storing, and disposing of pesticides and pesticide contaminated materials.
- The City of Gaithersburg shall require newly established homeowner associations to follow the City's IPM plan and to maintain lawns and gardens in the most environmentally sensitive way.
Since adoption of the IPM Policy, the City has reduced its application of pesticides and herbicides. During the first year of the plan (1998), the City took the approach of no pesticide usage whatsoever. The results were devastating. Dandelions bloomed everywhere and roses died in Constitution Garden. In 1999, the City reassessed the plan. Now, the City applies limited amounts of pesticides and applies only those that are non-toxic, or those that quickly degrade into non-toxic components.
The City of Gaithersburg is committed to educating the public on the value of IPM and has brochures and reference materials available on the program. The City produced two new brochures in Fiscal Year 2000. Previously, the City hosted a workshop at the Activity Center in Bohrer Park, Summit Hall Farm, which featured IPM experts from the University of Maryland, Montgomery County Cooperative Extension Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Maryland Master Gardeners Program providing tips and insights for those in attendance.
The City of Gaithersburg reviewed its procedures for posting pesticide applications in City parks and facilities. The City is committed to following all Maryland regulations for the application of pesticides. Only trained and certified applicators are used for pesticide applications.
The City requires new Homeowner Associations to develop and implement an IPM Plan for the maintenance of community facilities and common property. The City will continue to encourage existing HOAs to adopt IPM as a means for pest management.