It is fitting that Plymouth, Massachusetts, the first colonial settlement in the United States, is at the forefront of helping to preserve our country’s future.
Earlier this year, the officials in the Town of Plymouth made the voluntary decision to stop using glyphosate-based herbicides in the community.
Protecting Our Employees and Community
“We certainly want to minimize our overall impact on the environment,” said Robert Birkenhead Jr., highway foreman for the Town Plymouth. “Much of our water eventually drains into our oceans, and we want to be aware of that.”
“In addition, we listened to many of our city workers who were concerned about their exposure to Roundup in their daily work,” Birkenhead continued.
“We wanted an alternative that was safe for our employees and friendly to the whole community.”
More Effective, Safer Alternative
Birkenhead learned about EcoMIGHT through a social media connection. Every ingredient in this non-selective, naturally organic herbicide appears on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s stringent minimum risk exempt list.
The completely biodegradable product contains no toxic chemicals. When used as directed, it is safe for people, animals, aquatic life, beneficial insects, soils and groundwater.
The Town of Plymouth has sprayed about 300 gallons of EcoMight in diluted form on roughly a dozen miles of sidewalks, under highway bridge decks, easements, highway ramps, and traffic islands.
After more than a month, none of the treated areas have had to be sprayed again.
The town’s experience thwarts the general belief that organic herbicides don’t work.
“We found that it takes a little longer for things to die off compared to Roundup, but once weeds are dead, the areas stay clear for longer periods of time,” Birkenhead said.
“It’s much more effective than Roundup, and the dilution rate is better.”
Battling Invasive Weeds
The town struggles to control the growth of poison ivy, poison sumac and other invasive weeds like hawthorn. “The EcoMight product killed those hard-to-treat weeds dead,” Birkenhead said.
Birkenhead is already sharing the product with other surrounding communities. “The true test will be next spring,” he explained. “Right now, things are going into dormancy for the winter.
We’re expecting that EcoMight will allow us to better control weed growth in April and May and hoping that fewer applications will mean less labor and greater cost-effectiveness.”
EcoMight products are available as a liquid concentrate, which is mixed with water before usage. At six ounces per gallon, a single gallon of EcoMight concentrate would make about 21 gallons of herbicide. The effective cost of is as low as $2.21 per gallon, excluding discounts. In addition, surfactants and adjuvants are not necessary.
Refocus on 400th Anniversary Celebration
As the city prepares to celebrate its 400th anniversary in 2020, city workers of Plymouth will be busy getting ready for many festivities.
Birkenhead hopes that the city will be able to free up labor from herbicide applications to instead prepare for next year’s celebrations.