Response to pesticide use | Letter

Dear Kirkland community members,

We are aware that some community members have expressed concern about the city’s use of pesticides, especially Roundup, in Kirkland’s public areas. As you may know, Kirkland adopted an integrated pest management (IPM) program in 2015. Through this program the city implements a wide range of strategies, including physical (e.g., hand-pulling weeds), mechanical strategies (mowing), and, at times, chemical strategies, to deal with weeds while minimizing risks to people, animals and the environment.

Staff strive to minimize chemical pesticide use and to minimize environmental impact. However, for certain types of weeds and site conditions, such as fence lines, guardrails, sidewalks and curb lines, chemical application is the best control option. In these cases, the work of licensed city staff is guided by the city of Kirkland pesticide application guidelines/policy. We rely on the guidance of the King County Noxious Weed Program and other agriculture experts to select pesticides appropriate to manage the weed(s) of concern.

When pesticides are used, the application is timed to minimize human, pet and environmental exposure, as well as to minimize potential interaction with pollinators. Spot application (versus broadcasting) limits where pesticides come in contact with vegetation. Clear signage points to where pesticides have been applied, so that city residents and visitors can opt to avoid treated areas.

Please refer to www.kirklandwa.gov/weeds for more information regarding the city of Kirkland’s approach to weed management. As we update and refine our IPM program, we will post additional materials and resources to this website.

Ray Steiger

City of Kirkland Public Works superintendent

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