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Launched in 2014 by journalist Sean Baker, Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

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Going green: Rochester parks department to pilot pesticide-free parks

Going green: Rochester parks department to pilot pesticide-free parks

Six Rochester parks are about to get a little greener.

According a memo from the Parks and Forestry Division, South Point Park, Joyce Park, Diamond Ridge Park, Harvest View Park, Viking Park and Northern Heights Park will all be sites for a pesticide-free parks pilot project.

The parks will be maintained through mechanical methods, including mulching, weed-pulling and frequent mowing and trimming. Volunteers will be enlisted to assist with these labor-intensive tasks. 

 

"Many citizens have concerns about known or suspected carcinogens being applied in our parks," said Council Member Michael Wojcik in an email to the Med City Beat. "I think this [is] a great policy that creates some pilot parks around Rochester, which will be handled without these chemicals."

Parks with the pesticide-free designation won't be sprayed with a registered pesticide for that entire calendar year. If the need for pesticides arises due to health or safety concerns, signage in the park will clearly indicate so. 

The initiative won't end there; according to the memo, neighborhood associations or other volunteer groups can petition the city to add other parks to the list. Such a request must be accompanied by a volunteer commitment to help control pests and weeds in the park.


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(Cover photo: Claire Walling / The Med City Beat)

On the other side of the globe, a child receives an artificial hand made in Rochester

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