The grass should be greener on City fields this year – both in colour and in terms of the environmental impact of its care.
The City of Saint John has received the baseline Integrated Pest Management accreditation. Wayne Hamilton, Manager of Parks and City Landscape Services, will oversee the new program, which discourages the use of pesticides in favour of pest management through cutting methods and physical care of the turf on sports fields.
“It’s a way of sustaining turf through cultural practices,” Hamilton explains. “We ensure there’s a proper amount of soil under the turf, that it is aerated regularly. It can be as simple as raising the blades on the mowers and ensuring they are sharp to give a cleaner, healthier cut.”
In all, the program will make the City of Saint John better turf managers.
With the endorsement of the New Brunswick Department of Environment, the Plant Health Atlantic Council administers an IPM Certification and Accreditation Program that is designed to recognize lawn care companies, golf courses, municipalities, and other turf managers that demonstrate knowledge of, and commitment to, the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and environmentally sustainable turf management.
The IPM Certification Program deals with the education, training, and ongoing professional development requirements for the employees. Facility staff must successfully pass an approved examination and undertake continuous education training to maintain their certification status. The IPM Accreditation Program deals with the responsibilities and activities of the facility, company, or organization.
“Plant Health Atlantic Council is pleased to acknowledge that the City of Saint John has a number of staff qualified as IPM Certified Turf Practitioners and is the first municipality in New Brunswick to be approved at the Baseline IPM Accreditation level,” says David Thompson, Chair of the Public Relations Committee.
The next step for the City of Saint John is a full desk audit by Plant Health Atlantic to ensure the best practices are being followed.
For more information or to reserve a sports field, contact Leisure Services at 658-2908.