Model School IPM Project Description
Marin County Selected to Lead the Way
In 1999, Marin County schools were selected to participate in the Model School IPM Project. This project is designed to implement the Healthy Schools Act and to help schools make the transition to integrated pest management (IPM). Using IPM, schools can control pests such as ants, rats, mice, and weeds with the least hazardous methods.
Stacy Carlsen, Marin County Agricultural Commissioner, working together with Marin schools, the community, and environmental organizations, obtained funding for this project with a grant from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Work on the first phase of the Model School IPM Project began in the summer of 2000 and continued through December 2001. The next phase of the project begins in March 2002.
The project has completed detailed assessments of pest management practices at three target schools, Bacich Elementary, Miller Creek Middle School, and San Marin High School. The assessments found that these schools are already working to reduce their pesticide use, but could benefit from additional technical assistance to fully implement alternatives. To help fill this need the project has developed IPM training programs and educational materials for the school maintenance directors in the county.
School IPM Expo
On July 18, 2001 an IPM Exposition was held at San Marin High School to showcase companies that provide IPM products and services and to provide networking opportunities for people involved in school IPM. Opening remarks were given by Paul Heliker, Director, California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), Stacy Carlsen, Marin County Agricultural Commissioner, Cynthia Murray, Marin County Supervisor, and Dr. John C. Bernard, Superintendent, Novato Unified School District. Dr. Nita Davidson, of DPR’s School IPM Program, gave the closing talk on the Healthy Schools Act.
Twenty-six exhibitors participated including manufacturers, pest control professionals, consultants, non-profit organizations, and public agencies. Over 275 people from around the state attended representing school districts, County Departments of Agriculture, universities, pest control operators, consultants, non-profits, public agencies, and city and state government. For the first Expo of its kind, the response and support were remarkable.
In 2002, the project will continue to provide training for school personnel, not only in Marin County but also in Alameda, Contra Costa, and Solano Counties. Another focus of the project will be providing a forum for Marin school maintenance directors and their staff to exchange information about problems and successes in their pest management programs.
Technical assistance in implementing IPM practices is available to any Marin County public school or to parents who wish to help their school adopt an IPM program. Call the Marin County Department of Agriculture, (415) 473-6700.