Green Zone

Introducing a color-code system to designate pesticide toxicity
hazards in city parks, the Santa Barbara City Council adopted its
transitional plan for making 98 percent of city parklands
pesticide-free, or “green zones.” Parklands mapped as yellow zones
indicate the presence of moderately toxic pesticides, while red
areas — such as airport runways and golf courses — contain high
levels of toxic pesticides. Nineteen of the city’s 49 city parks
are currently mapped as green; an additional 20 parks could be
re-designated from yellow to green with little difficulty,
according to city horticulture officials. Yellow zones presenting
particular cultivation and pest-control challenges include the rose
garden across from the Santa Barbara Mission. Because green
gardening practices are more labor intensive, the council budgeted
the addition of one full-time gardener and a part-time coordinator
position to oversee volunteer gardeners. The city will provide the
public with lists of gardening materials that don’t threaten health
or pollute water. Phil Boise, the city’s horticultural consultant,
called the system “the missing link in our efforts to crack the
hard nut of urban pesticide use.”

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