After learning about the planned herbicide application neighbors contacted public works and a meeting with Parks and Open Space was arranged. Natural Resources specialist Ryan Turner met with Tom Titus , Lisa Arkin of Beyond Toxics, and David Saul of Southeast Neighbors at the park on April 16 . Ryan showed the group the proposed sites and explained the plans in detail.
The false brome spraying is for the plants on the hill, well above the bike path, well away from the wetland, in rocky conditions. This will amount to three small applications with a backpack sprayer using a glysophate product using a surfactant called “Agridex” . We all agreed that this was an appropriate way to proceed given the propensity of false brome to grow from rhizomes, the difficulty of removing all of those rhizomes in rocky habitat, the very small application, and the potential for a widespread infestation and disruption to native wildflowers and grasses down the road.
Herbicide application was also planned for two small patches of canada thistle on the landfill cap on the other side of the bike path. Southeast Neighbors offered to dig these as early as April 18, and Ryan was in agreement with this plan of action, along with monitoring. However, digging in a landfill cap is not permitted by DEQ. It was finally agreed to suppress the the thistles by covering with shade cloth. After 2 years, the cloth will be removed and grass seed spread on the bare areas. Parks and Open Space dept will supply shade cloth and stakes and Southeast Neighbors will volunteer the labor for the project. We also discussed the need for ongoing monitoring of the site and signage to inform the public of the city’s use of a non-toxic alternative to control the weeds.
We are grateful to Lisa Arkin, Tom Titus, and Ryan Turner for offering their expertise and for working with us to reduce and eventually eliminate toxic chemicals at Tugman.