Integrated Pest Management Program and Pesticide Use
Montgomery Parks manages more than 37,000 acres of parkland including 420 parks, 275 playgrounds, 362 athletic fields, and many other amenities. The Department follows Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles to steward resources and protect them from pests (weeds, insects, animals, and diseases) that may harm people or plants, impair function, and deteriorate infrastructure. IPM means managing pests by combining multiple strategies and techniques such as mechanical removal of pests, cultural methods to improve soil and plant health, conserving and introducing beneficial biological controls, and using pesticides.
The Parks Department does not use pesticides for cosmetic purposes. Pesticides are used as a last resort to control noxious and invasive pests, maintain safe and playable athletic fields and courts, and prevent significant economic damage, including degradation of park infrastructure.
Staff who apply pesticides and fertilizers are certified and registered with the Maryland Department of Agriculture. Montgomery Parks is committed to balancing the demand for recreation while protecting and conserving our valuable natural and cultural resources to meet the needs of current and future generations.
What is Montgomery County Code 33B?
County Code Chapter 33B went into effect July 1, 2016. The code presents guidelines for pesticide use in Montgomery County, including on county property and parkland. The goal of the code “is to inform the public about pesticide applications and minimize the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes, while not restricting the ability to use pesticides in agriculture, for the protection of public health, or for other public benefits.” Learn more about Montgomery County’s pesticide law.
What is Montgomery Parks doing to comply with the law?
Montgomery Parks continues to implement IPM strategies to ensure pesticides are used as a last resort. Montgomery Parks manages all playgrounds, community gardens and common lawn areas within local parks without the use of pesticides. In 2016, Montgomery Parks designated ten pesticide-free parks. In September 2019, the program expanded to 45 pesticide-free parks. To manage pests in parks that are designated pesticide-free, staff use alternative methods, such as hot foam, string trimming, mechanical weed removal, and products approved for use by Montgomery County Code 33B. The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection examples of products allowed in pesticide-free parks under the law.
Scheduled Pesticide Applications
The below table includes a schedule of upcoming pesticide applications.* The list is updated to provide at least 48-hour notice for applications.
|Park Name||Planned Application Date Range||Planned Application Time||Area To Be Treated||Application Details|
|Blair Local Park||11/7 – 11/10||7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.||Baseball field 1, softball field 2||Fiesta will be applied to broadleaf weeds to meet standards of play.|
|Johnson’s Local Park||11/7 – 11/22||8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.||Oak trees||Shortstop will be applied to oak trees to support plant or turf health.|
|Silver Spring Intermediate Neighborhood Park||11/7 – 11/22||8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.||Oak trees||Shortstop will be applied to oak trees to support plant or turf health.|
|Reddy Branch Stream Valley Park Unit #3||11/7 – 11/22||7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.||Reforestation area on the north side of Reddy Branch between 4104 Brookville Road and 4412 Brookville Road||Garlon 3A will be applied to invasive weeds to protect plantings.|
|Brookside Gardens||11/14 – 11/18||7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.||Carved sycamore sculpture at beginning of path to the Trial Garden||Bor 8 Rods will be applied to sycamore sculpture to preserve the wood.|
|Reddy Branch Stream Valley Unit #1||11/14 – 11/18||7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.||Recently constructed 2.3 acres of stream valley mitigation project site||Rodeo and/or RoundUp will be applied to invasive weeds to suppress plant growth.|
|Reddy Branch Stream Valley Unit #2||11/14 – 11/18||7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.||Half acre of tributary stream valley constructed bridge project||Rodeo and/or RoundUp will be applied to invasive weeds to suppress plant growth.|
|Johnson’s Local Park||11/15 – 11/18||7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.||Oak grove||Cambistat will be applied to oak trees to support plant or turf health.|
|Silver Spring Intermediate Neighborhood Park||11/15 – 11/18||7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.||Oak tree in center of the park||Cambistat will be applied to the oak tree to support plant or turf health.|
|Rachel Carson Conservation Park||12/5 – 12/16||7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.||Forested areas along the Fern Valley Trail, between the stream and the top of hill||Rodeo and/or Roundup Custom will be applied to nonnative invasive vegetation to restore habitat and protect ecosystem.|
|Rock Creek Regional Park||12/12 – 12/16||7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.||Floodplain on the east side of the paved hiking/biking trail (from trail to base of hill) on the north side of Southlawn Lane.||Rodeo and/or Roundup Custom will be applied to nonnative invasive shrubs to restore habitat and protect ecosystem.|
*Montgomery Parks staff make every effort to notify the community on this webpage when a pesticide application is scheduled in a public area. Dates of applications may change or be canceled due to weather; also, occasional emergency applications may be needed.
On-site Signage Procedures:
- White prenotification signs are placed in advance of an application to playing fields, managed turf and treatments within 25 feet of a stream or creek. The signs list the planned application date, product, and the reason for the application.
- Yellow signs are installed at the site at the time of application and remain in place at least 48 hours following the pesticide application. For more information, call the phone number listed on the back of the sign.
Please contact Montgomery Parks if you have any questions.