In the last few years, Connecticut has done something to be proud of: it has banned pesticides from school playgrounds. I mistakenly thought it was all school playgrounds but as it turns out, it is only day care centers and schools up to the 8th grade (but oh well–we have to start somewhere and starting with our youngest and most vulnerable population seems like a great start!)
Should anyone in other states (or countries) want to read our law, information about it is here.
But on Monday, our statewide paper the Hartford Courant published an editorial saying that despite this ban, no one is monitoring the pesticide use–or lack thereof. Here is the online version of that editorial, which was published prior on the paper’s web site, CTNow.
According to both versions, there are thousands of reports that landscapers have submitted (along with reports submitted by other pesticide applicators like farmers and exterminators) that are languishing in file cabinets because no one bothers to read them.
What this means is that the good work of our legislators is basically wasted. If there’s no oversight, anyone could be applying anything to school fields (although to read the article, thankfully, the grounds keepers are complying because the coaches are complaining about fields pockmarked with grub eaten grass!)
Clearly more education is needed on the part of the grounds crews working on the fields–there’s no reason for grub-eaten grass even on an organically maintained field.
But there’s also a need for some sort of oversight. In this magical age of computers, can’t some sort of program be written to screen for certain words? Then all that would have to happen is the reports could be scanned.
Heck, if it can be done with resumes to weed out (no pun intended) 1000s of applicants, surely it can be done with landscaper’s reports. Call one of these 8th graders. Surely the next computer wizard is in one of these schools!