The County of Maui Parks Department started their Pesticide Free Parks Pilot program (working with Beyond Pesticides, a national, grassroots membership non-profit organization) a few months ago, and the results are amazing.
Beyond Pesticides has pledged to continue putting support and resources into this Maui-wide shift, so we are well on our way to being an example of how government, private and non-profit agencies can cooperate to set a higher standard of how we care for our land, without pesticides.
This picture was taken on September 18, 2017, at the very beginning of starting the Pesticide Free Parks Pilot program.
They had just dethatched and top dressed the pitcher's mounds at the War Memorial Little League Field in Kahului.
This picture was taken on September 25, 2017, one week later.
This picture was taken on October 2, 2017 after applications of compost, humic acid and molasses, instead of chemical fertilizers.
Applications of all three components occurred on the same day.
They are currently projected to transition to their new, pesticide-free protocol UNDER BUDGET.
Duane Sparkman, a NO SPRAY advocate who works for the Westin Ka'anapali Hotel, is acting as a volunteer advisor for the Parks Dept (paid through a Beyond Pesticides' donation). He simplified Beyond Pesticides' training into a simple to-do list for the county workers, e.g., spread compost instead of chemical fertilizer, which they only have to do 1x year now instead of 4x and therefore have more time to weed whack. And they're under budget in spending on weed killer and fertilizer.
In addition to the 4 Maui County Parks that are going pesticide free, the Four Seasons has announced that they will be going pesticide free too. We also recently confirmed that the beautiful oceanside park behind the Maui Sunset, Waipuilani Park, is maintained without pesticides under the direction of Sunny Castillo.
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Note: Beyond Pesticides has offered to do training on the Big Island as well to train our County Parks Department workers in using alternative methods of weed control to reduce or eliminate a reliance on toxic products. Please let the County Parks & Recreation Department know of your support for this donation from Beyond Pesticides. You can email Maurice.Messina@hawaiicounty.gov or call 961-8311.