LARMAC shares what it is doing to maintain Ladera's landscape and open spaces at a high standard with the use of labor and organic and traditional materials. Materials are used to control pests that include weeds and other invasive pests. It's noted that organic materials aren't necessarily deemed 'safe'. LARMAC shares what it's doing to consider alternative materials and technologies while balancing the effectiveness with costs.
- Participating in test plot studies: Both traditional and non-traditional materials were used, including numerous recommended organic materials.
- Meeting with organic pest management companies: LARMAC and its contractors have met with representatives from numerous organic pest management companies to learn more about their products.
- Consulting with horticultural experts: LARMAC consults with its contractors and numerous consultants, including pest management experts.
- Learning from other communities: Significant time and effort has been spent understanding what other communities and/or cities are doing. Understanding lessons learned along the way has been helpful for LARMAC.
Healthy Schools Act
An insecticide for grub control, in granular form, may be applied once per year (typically in the spring when the schools are closed) where significant turf damage from crows occurs.
What is LARMAC doing to minimize the use of chemicals
- Improved notifications: O’Connell Landscape has made improvements to their notices, to include more details such as maps, and schedules for Front Yard SBA neighborhoods.
- Educational information: The Board approved a proposal to create a dedicated landscape and pest management page on LaderaLife.com to make it easier for residents to locate information related to landscape, maintenance and community projects. Residents will be able to access notifications, various educational documents, schedules, etc. The new section is expected to be live on LaderaLife.com by early November.
- Testing of organic materials: LARMAC and O’Connell Landscape remain committed to testing organic alternatives. The results of a recent testing (one application test) that was conducted in Rancho Mission Viejo resulted in organics being ineffective. More testing is underway in Ladera Ranch. Results of the tests will be shared on the new landscape maintenance web page.
- Mulch: Dedicated budget for mulch in tree wells to help reduce weeds, resulting in less materials needed to control the weeds.
- School Fields and Attached Parks: All routine maintenance weed control at Ladera Ranch school sites, including the adjacent LARMAC park property, is performed by hand labor only. Pesticides used to treat weeds may be used on the fields as part of an annual turf grass maintenance program to reestablish a healthy playing surface that involves overseeding and/or sod replacement.
- Communication lines: LARMAC continues to engage with and makeitself available to concerned residents and/or group leaders by participating in ongoing meetings. These meetings involve open dialogue, field review/demonstrations and updates pertaining to pest management.
- Exploring alternative methods: LARMAC has consulted with experts (outside of O’Connell Landscape) and continues to explore alternate options. LARMAC is also committed to understanding lessons that have been learned from other communities and cities.
Planned approach to change
Ensuring the greatest value and expertise
Protections and use of caution
- Approved and regulated by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Approved and regulated by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR)
Additionally, O’Connell Landscape:
- Is monitored by the County Agricultural Commissioner’s office with frequent, unannounced inspections of their storage facilities, vehicles, equipment and personnel who handle these materials.
- Has designated personnel with a Qualified Applicator License (QAL) who handle the materials. Being licensed requires passing a State administered written-test, completing yearly continuing education hours, and submitting monthly reports to the County.
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