Herbicide exemption from May, 2017. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Herbicide Exemption approved for Max Turyk

On August 14, 2017, City of Fernie Council granted an exemption for herbicide to be sprayed on the turf area at Max Turyk Community Centre, as permitted under section 6 of the Pesticide Use Control Bylaw No. 2093.

Below are facts sourced from a public notice submitted by the City of Fernie.

The City of Fernie ‘Pesticide Use Control Bylaw’ only applies to City lands and private residential lands. The Province regulates commercial properties and they allow for the use of pesticides on those properties.

The application of ‘Trillion’ is scheduled to take place on August 28, with a back-up date for inclement weather on August 29. The purpose of this application of herbicide is to deal with weeds (Dandelion, Clover, Black Medic, and Thistle) that are affecting the integrity and safety of the turf. Imbedded clumps of weeds create tripping hazards and affect the health of the turf.

The City of Fernie heard from many citizens and user groups, over the spring and summer, who expressed concern over the safety of the field. Based on this information, the Leisure Services Advisory Committee made a recommendation to council to allow this one-time exemption to deal with the rampant weeds.

The long-term goal is to protect the City of Fernie’s investment in this important community asset. The City of Fernie’s ‘Invasive Plant Management Strategy,’ outlines use of chemical treatment as a starting point for controlling invasive weeds, with the long-term goal of being able to reduce, and potentially eliminate, the need for chemical control over time. With that in mind, the application of herbicide will be done in conjunction with a program of aeration, fertilizer, top dressing, and other best practice turf management procedures.

Trillion is effective at combatting the weeds present on the turf and will be sprayed by a licensed applicator. A recent study by Health Canada has re-evaluated the risks of 2-4-D (a component of Trillion) and determined that it can be used safely.

When the City is granted an exemption to spray, we follow the measures laid out in the Bylaw to ensure residents and users are aware of spraying taking place. This includes written notice to residents on adjacent lots, and informational signage put up 48 hours prior, and remaining in place for 72 hours after. We ask that residents refrain from using the turf area at Max Turyk from August 28- 30.

The City of Fernie remains committed to the smart management of weeds on City property. The ‘ 2017 City of Fernie Invasive Plant Study,’ completed earlier this month, highlights areas within the City where invasive weeds are present, and council will consider the recommendations for managing this issue in the 2018 budget.

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