Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board passes moratorium prohibiting use of glyphosate on Minneapolis parkland

At its Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 meeting, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board of Commissioners passed Resolution 2018-303, which establishes a moratorium on the use of glyphosate in all MPRB land and water resource management activities. The moratorium will begin on Jan. 1, 2019 and apply to work performed by MPRB staff as well as consultants and contractors.

“We have six new commissioners on the Board this year because the people of this city decided they wanted to change how things are run at the Park Board, whether that be recreation programming or environmental care,” said Commissioner Londel French, chair of the Operations and Environment Committee. “Eliminating toxins in our parks is something I heard about a lot on the campaign trail. People want to see this change and I’m proud to help make it happen.”

Technical and Advisory Committee

The resolution also establishes a 15-member Technical and Community Advisory Committee. The committee will research viable alternatives to using glyphosate and other toxic pesticides throughout the park system and assist and advise the MPRB in transitioning towards pesticide-free resource management alternatives.

The committee will contain nine community members nominated by the Board of Commissioners (one by each commissioner) and six technical experts nominated by the Assistant Superintendent of Environmental Stewardship. All nominated committee members will serve a two-year term and must be confirmed by the Board of Commissioners.

It will present an initial report to the Board of Commissioners by April 3, 2019. This report would include initial recommended practices and potential modifications to MPRB’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan. In addition, the resolution calls for the MPRB Assistant Superintendent of Environmental Stewardship to continue to make annual reports to the Board of Commissioners recommending alternative practices for chemical pesticide use, a practice established in 2017.

“This resolution places a moratorium on the use of glyphosate throughout our park system and establishes a new advisory committee to advise the Park Board on the usage of other pesticides and to make recommendations for alternatives,” said Commissioner Chris Meyer, vice-chair of the Operations and Environment Committee. “Numerous studies have indicated that glyphosate is a  health risk to both humans and pollinators, so I believe it is time for us to move to organic methods of pest control.”

Background

Since 2000, the MPRB has operated with a policy concerning the use of pesticides and herbicides within the park system. This policy is periodically reviewed and updated. The MPRB has worked for years to minimize the use of pesticides and herbicides with the use of alternatives such as biological controls, goat grazing and experiments with organic pesticides.

In 2016, the Board eliminated the use of glyphosate in all neighborhood parks throughout the system, excluding projects that were currently underway. This resolution expands on that effort.

The MPRB currently manages more than 6,800 acres comprising land and water, trails, parkways and open spaces. Most of the acreage is maintained parkland and includes neighborhood parks and recreation centers, playgrounds, multiuse athletic fields, open lawns, picnic areas and golf courses.

Click the link below to find out more about MPRB’s current strategies and policies on pesticide use.

MPRB Pesticide Use