Vegetation Management In City Parks

An integrated approach to vegetation management
The Parks & Recreation Department manages over 4,275 acres of public lands for parks, trails, conservation lands, and landscaped right-of-ways, with new lands and facilities being added nearly every year. Through Integrated Pest Management (IPM), the department manages pests that are detrimental to the health, function or aesthetic value of parks in an effective and environmentally responsible manner, with utmost consideration to public and employee safety.   

Thoughtful, timely and selective use of herbicides is just one tool of many used to maintain park lands. Learn more in the Parks and Recreation Turf Management Plan.

Fast Facts About Weed Control In City Parks
  • In all City parks, herbicides are NOT used in or on picnic shelters, playgrounds, volleyball courts, splash decks or other water sources.
  • Parks and Recreation exceeds legal requirements by posting areas to be treated 24 hours before application and 24 hours after application. Multiple signs are used to mark treated areas.
  • Thoughtful, timely and selective use of herbicides is just one tool of many used to maintain park lands.
  • Weed control on City Open Space
Herbicide-Free Parks and FAQ
At the request of citizens, Parks and Recreation has designated the parks below as herbicide-free public spaces this year. These parks contain lower levels of weed infestation, allowing parks staff to maintain the parks’ desirable turf grasses with manual techniques this year.  

Herbicide-free parks will rotate annually, based on an annual weed inventory of the parks system, park maintenance costs, protection of park infrastructure and public input.

2017 Herbicide-free Parks

Boyd Park 3131 Washburn
Duncan Dr. Soccer Field Duncan Dr. and Mountain View
Garland Park 4810 23rd Av

Greenough Park

1001 Monroe

Honeysuckle Park

4331 Barbara Ln

Jacob's Island 6 S. Van Buren
Lester Park 200 Sentinel St.
Lincolnwood Park 4505 Fox Farm

Westside Park

1100 Sherwood
Willowwood Park 2660 Willow Wood Ct.
The Vegetation Management Tool Box
Weed prevention is the key
Parks and Recreation strives to develop low-maintenance, minimum herbicide use landscapes. Comprehensive landscape design practices like proper plant selection and planting design; use of geotextiles for weed control, surface stabilization and good construction practices are our best tools for reducing maintenance costs and herbicide use.

Developed parkland management strategies, ranked in order of frequency of use:

1. IPM-based landscape design.
2. Mowing and irrigation.
3. Fertilization, aeration, top dressing, reseeding.
4. Mechanical control (such as weed pulling and trimming.)
5. Mulching.
6. Field rotation and use restrictions.
7. Geo-textile and barrier fabrics.
8. Herbicides.