Midtown Sacramento park first to go chemical-free

The city of Sacramento doesn't use herbicides on the lawns of its parks. You can see dandelions, clover, crabgrass, dallisgrass and plantain.

However, it does use weedkillers around the base of the parks' oaks, sycamores and redwoods.

At the urging of Councilman Rob Fong, Pesticide Free Sacramento and city parks department, the city will launch a two-year experiment today banning any weedkillers at midtown's Fremont Park, at 16th and Q streets.

In the pilot project, the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers will be eliminated and weed-pulling and mulching will be used instead. In addition, grass will be allowed to grow higher before mowing so that weeds are choked out.

Michael Burt, who lives across the street from the park, said he didn't oppose the mulch in lieu of weedkillers plan. He just doesn't want the aesthetics of the park to change.

"As long as the park stays green," Burt said as he pushed his wife's tow-headed grandson, 18-month-old Devin Hayes, in a park swing. "Mulch is fine. It's clean."

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