When the glyphosate lawsuits began several years ago in the state of California, Brentwood Union School District took notice. Just 35 miles away, the head groundskeeper, Dewayne Lee Johnson, of the Benicia Unified School District was the plaintiff of the first Roundup cancer lawsuit to go to trial. After winning his case, a class-action lawsuit followed, which resulted in more than 125,000 lawsuits and one of the largest class-action awards in history: $11 billion.
“We heard the news about the potential dangers of glyphosate in the media, and our district chose to take a proactive approach,” explained Robert Brown, Director of Maintenance & Operations for the Brentwood Union School District. During the last 18 months, the district has been using an organic, non-toxic herbicide called EcoMight at all 11 of its campuses and has been extremely pleased with the results.
Seeking a Less Cumbersome Process
Another significant driver for the Brentwood Union School District to find safer pesticide and herbicide solutions was the strict notification and posting rules in the state of California. According to Beyond Pesticides, California law requires that parents, students and staff are notified 72 hours in advance of application of EPA-registered products. Signs must also be posted 24 hours prior to and 72 hours after application.
“I had already been searching for some time for an alternative to glyphosate,” Brown said. “In California, if we use an EPA-registered product, we have to notify and post. I’ve been looking for options that allow us to use products as needed because weeds don’t grow on a schedule.”
EcoMight is classified as Minimum Risk Exempt FIFRA 25b, which means the product was formulated from a strict list provided by the EPA of about 40 ingredients–most of which are found in nature. The EPA has determined that products with this classification (when used as directed), pose little to no harm to human health or the environment.
The district had also found a natural pest control product that was effective, and in combination with EcoMight, was able to eliminate the cumbersome steps involved in caring for its school properties.
Just As Effective As Glyphosate
With more than a decade of experience in landscape maintenance, Brown is well versed in how various synthetic and natural herbicide products perform.
“When we started our search, we put our heads together to try to find an organic systemic weed killer that would be effective,” Brown said. “We had tried several other natural products, but they were topical and killed only the tops of the plants; the weeds would come right back. We needed a systemic solution, one that would kill the roots.”
Brown discovered EcoMight and decided to try the product nearly two years ago. “I brought it to my groundskeeper, and we decided to see if it would work,” Brown recalls. “And, lo and behold, it did!”
Brentwood Union School District began using EcoMight in planter boxes and along sidewalk cracks at all of its schools. The district found it effective on all the common, native weeds to California including different grasses, broadleaf weeds and dandelions.
“EcoMight works just as well as glyphosate; we use it in the same fashion and amounts,” Brown said. “Bingo! We had found the answer. We are so glad to be able to have a solution that’s healthier for our employees, students, and environment.”
“EcoMight works just as well as glyphosate…
Bingo! We had found the answer. We are so glad to be able to have a solution that’s healthier for our employees, students, and environment.”
District Reduces Labor Requirements
By using EcoMight, the Brentwood Union School District has been able to reduce the amount of weed-eating it typically does.
“With 11 school sites, it’s a constant, year-round battle to control weeds,” Brown said. “We see an explosion of weeds in the spring.
Using EcoMight means that the whole plant dies, making them easier to pull out and reducing the amount of weed whacking required.”
A Win-Win Situation
As the Brentwood Union School District has transitioned to safer, natural solutions, they have let their community know of their dedication. “Our community is thankful for the switches that we’ve made,” Brown said. “EcoMight offers the combination of being a systemic solution while delivering health and environmental benefits. It’s a win-win.”
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