Alternative natural herbicides to be used in road maintenance district landscaping

We finally cracked the door open on Roundup alternatives in the Red Rock Road Enhancement Maintenance District landscaping.

At August’s meeting, the RRREMD Board, by a vote of 4 to 1, approved funding up to $5,000 through the end of October for alternative sprays and additional labor, if needed, with the goal of eliminating the use of Roundup in the RRREMD. Roundup will still be allowed as a last resort if the alternatives fail.

Board member Ann Crossland and myself will be working with the RRREMD landscape contractor to try some alternative natural herbicides.

The first one will be Weed Zap, which is primarily clove and cinnamon oil. The Board will evaluate progress at its October 18 meeting. Although a majority of the Board did not want a full-fledged Integrated Pest Management program, the Board’s decision to fund alternatives to Roundup is a historic step.

I do not think this would have happened without so many of you speaking up at meetings and through emails in support of non-toxic maintenance.

Since January, the Board received 23 emails in favor of non-toxic maintenance and none opposed. We received important letters of support from the Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition and the Sustainability Alliance.

At meetings, we heard 18 comments in favor of non-toxic maintenance and only 4 opposed. I’m sure this overwhelming support played a major role in convincing the Board to give non-toxic alternatives a chance.

There is no guarantee the alternative program will succeed, but I can assure you that Ann Crossland and I will do everything we can to give it the best chance of success.

Thank you all for your civic engagement and perseverance with this issue.

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