We are currently working to reduce pesticide usage in City of Walnut Creek public parks and the East Bay Regional Parks District where we discovered a known human developmental toxin 2,4-D and a known human cancer causing chemical Oryzalin, to name just one product being used among many for each park, respectively. We need funding to hire experts, to create a "picture" of what pesticides and how much are being applied by each agency, to consult agencies on alternatives that work, and possibly do testing in the parks and in children and pets for exposure if we do not get cooperation. So far, we successfully worked to get help the Moraga Unified School District (2005), and Acalanes Union High School District become pesticide-free (2015). We also helped the Town of Moraga parks (2006) become pesticide-free and it is currently the only parks in Contra Costa County maintained organically.
We have also helped reduce pesticide usage by Contra Costa County departments by over 65% since 2005 when we began a campaign to review all documents, attend every meeting, provide public comments, meet with staff and elected officials, and advocate for change. We negotiated with the county's contractor to stop applying insecticides and rodenticides in the county's 300+ maintained buildings in 2006 among many other changes for which we were responsible. We also helped stop all Tru Green Chem Lawn spraying in the county parks and around county buildings in 2009. Since 2013, the county's Grounds Program finally gave up herbicide spraying in county maintained parks.
We wish to see each city in Contra Costa County as well as each school district including the Mt Diablo Unified School District, one of the largest in California with over 60 schools also move towards a pesticide-free environment. Our limiting rate is lack of funding and ability to expand our capacity to work on more projects simultaneously. If we had two part time professionals helping us, we can tackle several projects at once. Help fund us and consider working with us to attend meetings since community participation is taken seriously by most elected officials.
All donations will go towards each project so that we can institutionalize improved, written Integrated Pest Management Policies for each program. This way, after Parents for a Safer Environment goes away, the agency will be required to continue to maintain transparency, accountability, and collaboration with the community. The result is less pesticide dependency, if not a pesticide-free environment.