Spraying the Great Lawn
PARD says herbicides applied are “extremely safe”
By Michael King,
7:02PM, Wed. Sep. 18, 2013
A sharp-eyed Chronicle reader noticed spraying taking place on Zilker Park’s Great Lawn, so we asked the city’s Parks and Recreation Department about it – here’s the official response, via PARD Public Information Manager Victor Ovalle and “the Great Lawn Turf Manager”
“On September 11, 12 and 13 pre-emergent herbicides were applied to the great lawn. Two different types of chemicals were used, prodiamine and isoxaben (Common names are Barricade and Gallery). Both herbicides are registered with the EPA and on the City of Austin Parks and Recreation IPM plan. These herbicides were chosen not only for their ability to control weeds, but also for their low toxicity, as the public’s safety is our number one concern. These chemicals were applied and then watered into the soil where they will interact with the undesirable seeds, stopping them from germinating. This is effective in the soil for about six months. Both of these herbicides are extremely safe for humans, dogs, and any other animals. The only danger with these chemicals is inhalation or acute exposure during the actual application. After it has been watered in it is nearly undetectable and the areas sprayed are extremely safe to re-enter. You should have no reservations about visiting the park as we strive to keep these areas safe for the public to enjoy."
Ovalle continues: “The staff places signs at the park and the Parks web team places closures of the Great Lawn on our park closures page on our web site.”
If we learn more about the herbicides and their potential effects, we'll update the blog.