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Date: August 24, 2018 Report No. 2018-110 <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />INFORMAL STAFF REPORT <br />TO MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL <br /> <br /> <br />SUBJECT: <br />Integrated Pest Management (IPM) update <br /> <br />EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: <br />On January 9, 2018, the Council received a recommendation from the Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) <br />to update the IPM program and gave direction to proceed. Council received additional information on the process <br />to review and update the program on February 13, 2018 that included the creation of a focus group comprised of <br />a diverse representation of park users and community partners. The group was formed in April with <br />representatives from the University of North Texas, Texas Women’s University, Denton County Master <br />Gardner’s, Master Naturalist, the Denton County Beekeepers Association, the Denton Youth Sports Association, <br />and community residents. The focus group has held six meetings over the last four months and has provided <br />considerable feedback that will incorporated into a draft IPM update. The draft will be reviewed during the next <br />scheduled meeting on September 19, 2018. An updated IPM program is expected to go back to Council for <br />consideration before the end of the year. <br /> <br />BACKGROUND: <br />The current IPM program was implemented in 2001. A community focus group analyzed concerns, practices, and <br />expectations with the goal of developing community consensus for a maintenance standard. The result was a <br />combination of cultural and organic measures such as mowing heights, natural nutrients, plus over-seeding and <br />the use of pesticide products. The IPM program provided guidelines for the selection of products, identifies the <br />products in use, and specifies a spraying schedule based on season and location classification. It defined <br />requirements and procedures for spraying applications designed to minimize exposure to park visitors and <br />provides for public notification. Design and maintenance standards are also included in support of the IPM <br />objectives along with a detailed maintenance schedule for each classification type. Pilot sites at five park locations <br />were established to evaluate different pest management methods and applications. The results were documented <br />and considered in on-going maintenance practices. <br /> <br />Exponential growth, changes in property use, and developments in conservation since the 2001 implementation <br />of the IPM program necessitate a review. On January 9, 2018, the Council received a recommendation from the <br />Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) to update the IPM program and gave direction to proceed. Council <br />received additional information on the process to review and update the program on February 13, 2018. The <br />process included the formation of a focus group, analyzing the current IPM program, establishing pilot sites to <br />test new cultural / organic methods, research and benchmarking, and returning to Council with a proposed update. <br />The estimated timeline for the project was 12 – 18 months. The review and potential adoption of an updated <br />program would be completed by the end of the year. Evaluation of the pilot sites would continue to capture all <br />seasons before reporting any findings. <br /> <br />DISCUSSION: <br />In performing a comprehensive review of the program, PARD is using a similar process of forming a community <br />focus group and exploring and testing new maintenance techniques. The group was formed in April with <br />representatives from the University of North Texas, Texas Woman’s University, Denton County Master <br />Gardner’s, Master Naturalist, the Denton County Beekeepers Association, the Denton Youth Sports Association, <br />and community residents. Staff members from PARD and Environmental Services serve as facilitators. The