Ear to the ground
“You mean they don’t wash everything first?”
– Local woman coming to stark realization that thrift stores do not have large commercial washers in the back to launder all the donated items

Soccer moms strike back
Talk about a grassroots effort. When the City of Durango announced last week it was going to chemically treat the fields at Riverview Elementary the night before hundreds of children ascend on the fields for Super Soccer Saturday, soccer moms and dads sprang to action.

The fields were to be sprayed with “Pro-Lawn Liquid” fertilizer and “Vessel Broad-Leaf” weed control the night of Fri., Oct. 12 , according to a city press release. The lawncare company contracted with the City, Scott’s K-Lawn, believes it safe for children to play when the chemicals are “dry,” about 4 hours after application. The city follows up by “watering-in” the chemicals, which directs them from the grass into the soil and roots.
However, parents objected to the application taking place so close to game time Saturday morning.

“There are varied opinions about when the grass is ‘safe’ for children to play on after chemicals have been applied,” wrote parent Sheryl McGourty in a letter to the editor. “Some states suggest 24 hours, others 48 and still others 72. The randomness of these guidelines alone raises questions.”

She went on to note children between ages 6-11 – prime grass-rolling years – are especially vulnerable to pesticides, including the herbicide 2,4-D, a suspected carcinogen. The residues can also be tracked indoors, where they can lurk in carpets and other surfaces for up to a year.

McGourty, along with several other concerned parents, got on the horn via email and organized a voluntary boycott of soccer games on Sat., Oct. 13.

City Youth Recreation Supervisor John Robinette heeded the concerns. Although the field treatment was not cancelled, the fall soccer schedule was postponed, with games set for Riverview on Oct. 13 cancelled and the season extended to Oct. 27.

The City of Durango says is promotes “Best Management Practices” when it comes to turf, and the weed control used by Scott’s has been repeatedly tested and approved by the EPA.

“The applications are conducted to improve the quality of the turf in the City’s park system,” stated the City’s press release. “These areas will be flagged until the application has been watered in, but parks remain open.”
Other areas that had or will have a date with the sprayer hose include:
- Animas City Park, Oct. 1
- Greenmount Cemetery, Oct. 2
- Rank Park and Recreation Center, Oct. 3
- Folsom Park and Chapman Hill, Oct. 4


In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows