Nonprofit Leads Statewide Organic Landscaping Seminar

March 2, 2020, 3:05 PM HST · Updated March 2, 3:05 PM
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Photo courtesy: Beyond Pesticides.

Environmental non-profit organization Beyond Pesticides is working with government agencies statewide to promote organic landscaping without pesticides and fertilizers.

Throughout an 11-day tour, local and national organic landscape experts informed government officials throughout Maui, Kaua’i, and Hawai’i counties about long term landscaping practices that build soil health without synthetic fertilizers. 

The experts also demonstrated herbicide-free weed management techniques, using tools including steam equipment, rubber no-grow strips for fence lines, and ground cover revegetation. 

Maui County received a similar training in 2017 as a pilot program that made 4 Maui parks pesticide free. 

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After last week’s trainings, Kaua’i and Hawai’I Counties will also pilot organic land management practices for one year on 2 pilot sites each.

The new organic park pilot sites are Captain Cook Park in Waimea and Kapa’a Beach Park/Soccer Field in Kaua’i County and Pahoa District Park and Kuawa St. Soccer Field in Hawai’I County.

Beyond Pesticides also partnered with Maui County Department of Public Works, testing steam and organic herbicides on county roads.

“Over the 11 day tour, we worked with eight agencies and 6 large landscaping entities on three islands.  It has been exciting to see how each entity plays a distinct but important part in a larger conversation about how we can return to land management systems that are not dependent on chemical inputs,” Beyond Pesticides Hawai’i Program Director Autumn Ness said in a press release. 

“Many of the county workers we spent time with lit up when they learned that they could care for their spaces by building soil that actually pulls carbon out of the air and contributes to slowing climate change.  Each of our parks and public spaces can be used to grow solutions to climate change, with our very own hands, while keeping our kids safe from herbicide exposure.”

Ness says Beyond Pesticides will continue to work with agencies across the state to transition away from pesticide and fertilizer dependent land management.

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