CAL/EPA PRESENTS AWARDS FOR GETTING THE BUGS OUT
OF SCHOOLS, PARKS, GOLF COURSES, AND FINE ART
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Unified School District and the Getty
Conservation Institute received "IPM Innovator" awards today along with
five other groups recognized for their efforts in finding environmentally
friendly ways to fight insects, weeds, and other pests in urban settings.
Jack J. Pandol, Cal/EPA Undersecretary, and James W. Wells, Director of
Cal/EPA's Department of Pesticide Regulation, presented the awards at
ceremonies at a Los Angeles elementary school where many of the innovative
pest control techniques are being used.
"California has long been a leader in developing innovative ways to manage
pests. The award recipients here today deserve a great deal of recognition
for their integrated pest management efforts in non-agricultural settings,"
said Pandol. Integrated pest management (IPM) is an approach to pest
control that stresses the application of biological, mechanical, and
cultural pest control techniques. Pesticides are used only when necessary
to achieve acceptable levels of control with the least possible harm to
nontarget organisms and the environment.
In addition to the LAUSD and the Getty Institute, award recipients included
the Fremont Unified School District; San Diego City Unified School
District; PACE Turfgrass Research Institute in San Diego; the East Bay
Regional Park District in Oakland, and the San Luis Obispo County
Department of Agriculture.
DPR established the IPM Innovator program in August, presenting awards to
six groups for their work in agricultural IPM. The program is designed to
recognize those who are providing leadership and creativity in implementing
reduced-risk pest management systems. DPR also wants the "IPM Innovators"
to serve as models to encourage others to implement the systems.
"Pesticide use in agriculture gets a lot of attention," said Wells.
"However, California is a highly urbanized state and pesticides are also
used extensively in cities and towns, in schools, hospitals, industry, and
on recreational facilities. Important work is being done to reduce the
urban use of pesticides while maintaining economical and effective pest
"This is particularly true in schools, because there has been increasing
public concern regarding the potential for exposure of children to
pesticides there," Wells said. "Although we haven't identified significant
problems with school pesticide use, we support the adoption of pest control
practices that reduce risk to both people and the environment."
Pandol and Wells praised the recipients, highlighting their accomplishments:
_The East Bay Regional Park District in Alameda and Contra Costa counties
has 50 parks covering 78,000 acres, visited each year by 50 million people.
The District instituted an IPM program in 1984. It encompasses an
employee training program, research into pest management alternatives, and
an innovative customized mapping and record-keeping system for all major
_The Fremont Unified School District has been instrumental in promoting the
establishment of IPM policies and programs in school districts throughout
the state. Staff have spoken at professional meetings and training
seminars, educating business, industry, school officials, public interest
groups, and state and local government agencies on the technical,
institutional and economic considerations involved with implementation of
IPM on school grounds.
_The Getty Conservation Institute recognized the problems associated with
the toxic fumigation procedures traditionally used to disinfest and protect
cultural properties. The Institute, working with the Los Angeles County Art
Museum and researchers from the University of California, Riverside,
instituted a program that replaced toxic chemicals with safer alternatives,
funding research and establishing IPM training programs.
_The L.A. Unified School District, with more than 800 district sites, has
been influential in developing innovative approaches including: program
organization and management for large-scale implementation; cultural,
biological, and other reduced-
risk strategies; improved contracting procedures; and the education of
students, parents, school staff, and the community of what is needed for an
IPM program to succeed. Its success has been a major contribution to the
encouragement of IPM in other school districts.
_The PACE Turfgrass Research Institute was established in 1992 to develop a
systematic approach for conducting research and implementing results into a
turfgrass IPM program. Implementing IPM on golf courses is particularly
difficult because of the very low tolerance for weeds and other pests which
translates into a general willingness by golf course superintendents to use
pesticides before a situation becomes a problem.
_The San Diego City Unified School District's commitment to public
education, and the District's involvement with community organizations and
public interest groups in the San Diego area that have statewide outreach
has resulted in a statewide distribution of the district's well-documented
IPM policy. The policy is used as a model by other districts involved in
policy reevaluation and improvement.
_The San Luis Obispo County Department of Agriculture has developed a
biological control program that, through cooperative agreements with land
managers, park rangers, and urban homeowners, releases beneficial controls
for several weed and insects pests. In addition, by developing a network
of local citizens, researchers, and other government agencies, a successful
outreach program has been implemented to provide information to the public
and farmers to encourage the use of reduced-risk pest management
techniques throughout the county.
Wells said that DPR will assist IPM Innovators to locate and apply for
sources of funding, both private and public, to further their IPM efforts.
DPR scientific staff will assist groups to find needed technical assistance
in pest management and to develop the kind of documentation necessary to
define the system and promote it to others.