A Dozen Reno Parks Now Pesticide Free

Sep 24, 2015

A sign posted at Virginia Lake Park near the children's play area. Virginia Lake is one of a dozen parks selected to take part in the city's two-year pilot program to employ chemical-free maintenance.
Credit Julia Ritchey

A dozen parks in Reno are now pesticide free. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports.

The two-year pilot program will study best methods and cost effective ways to maintain the city's parks without using herbicides and pesticides.

City Council approved the change this week. Councilwoman Naomi Duerr says they decided to pursue the project after hearing from concerned residents. 

"So we want to grow our grass organically; we may be pulling weeds manually. And we're going to be implementing techniques that will strengthen the soil, so that the soil can withstand the impacts of weeds, drought and disease."

Each of the 12 designated parks will have a "pesticide free" sign posted at its entrance. Barbara Bennett Park and Wingfield Park downtown are included in the pilot program. Ten others were selected by the city's neighborhood advisory boards.

The city will also be studying how much it costs to run the program since it's never been done before.

"We do believe in the end there will be a cost savings, but we just need to fully quantify that. And even if it was a slightly increased cost, I think that's something that our citizens are really interested in."

Reno is only the second city in the state to take on the pesticide-free program after Carson City.