Whitefish Bay Little League will not spray pesticides at Craig Counsell Park for the next three years.
In years past, the Little League has sprayed pesticides across the entire little league field over Memorial Day weekend. Now, after a year of discussion amongst little league board members, the organization has decided to temporarily stop pesticide application in the interest of public health.
Even without full-scale pesticide usage, the board's three-year resolution still includes the option of spot herbicide applications for small areas of weeds.
"In a nutshell we are trying to create healthier fields and that is not an overnight process," Whitefish Bay Little League President Josh Levy wrote in a letter to little league parents last week. "However the virtual elimination of chemicals is immediate."
Instead of spraying herbicides, the little league board will work with a natural turf care firm, as well as its landscaper, in adopting natural techniques to strengthen the grass, while reducing weeds and pests. The alternatives involve a more aggressive use of aeration in conjunction with a more strategic application of fertilizer, compost tea, gypsum and overseeding.
If smaller areas of weeds sprout up, the little league still has the option of applying herbicide if needed. Under those circumstances, Levy said the board prefers to use a natural herbicide such as Fiesta.
"We reserved the idea of isolated spot sprays of safer herbicide products to control weeds in limited areas such as distinct fence lines," Levy said.