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Everett Parks & Recreation Department
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Guidelines
June 2014
For more than fifteen years, the Everett Parks & Recreation Department (Parks)
has employed Integrated Pest Management (IPM) procedures to determine the
most appropriate pest control strategies, in accordance with federal and state
regulations, to maintain assigned open space. To detail the processes, criteria
and procedures employed by Parks, IPM guidelines have been developed.
These IPM Guidelines provide:
(1) An overview of Parks staff training, planning, and criteria for application of
IPM procedures;
(2) The results of staff research into current methods and materials available for
pest control;
(3) The department’s objectives for the care and ongoing maintenance of open
space; and
(4) The procedural baseline for employing the range of pest control techniques
available for the maintenance of Parks-managed open space, landscaped areas,
forests, waterways and trails.
1. Staff Training, IPM Criteria, and Notification:
a. Parks Department staff responsible for implementing the IPM program in the
parks system are trained, licensed, and certified through the Washington State
Department of Agriculture (WSDA). The licensing program includes twelve license
types and more than 25 examination categories. Each candidate is required to
receive initial training, which consists of a two day course followed by a half-day

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of testing to become licensed as a public operator. This training includes
compliance with state laws, safe practices, knowledge of and adherence to
labeling instructions, recordkeeping, and the calculation and calibration of tank
mixing, application rates, and frequencies. After completion of the required laws
& safety portion of licensing, additional training and testing for endorsements is
needed. Among endorsements possessed by Parks Department public operators
are those for turf and ornamental weeds, rights-of-way, insect & disease control
and aquatic pest control. All licenses must be renewed annually.
Additionally, each public operator must obtain a total of 40 educational credits
within a five year period to re-certify licensure. All re-certification credit classes
offered must be authorized by WSDA.
With this training, licensing and re-certification structure, Parks Department
public operators are qualified to assess, consider and provide recommendations
and implement IPM procedures as detailed in the IPM program criteria.
b. IPM program criteria identify control techniques for pests that favor alternative
uses to chemicals whenever feasible. These techniques are cultural practices,
mechanical controls, biological controls and chemical controls.
Cultural practices are management activities that reduce the incidence of
pests developing due to enhancement of desirable vegetation, which “out-
competes” or otherwise resists the pests. Aeration of turf, promotion of
appropriate drainage, and application of mulch in bed areas are cultural
practices to limit the emergence, growth and spread of weeds and
invasives.
Mechanical controls are activities performed using physical methods
and/or mechanical equipment.
Biological controls are activities that primarily use competing vegetation to
control pests.

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Chemical controls are activities using a range of current U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) and WSDA-approved herbicides, fungicides, and/or
insecticides.
Parks staff monitors park lands for presence of pests and pest damage, and
implements control techniques as described above with the objective of
managing and controlling pests in preference to eradication or elimination.
c. In instances when chemical controls are employed, notification is provided by
the advance placement of signage. The department objective is to post signage at
least twelve (12) hours in advance of the application, and to post signage in or
near the most common public entrance area(s) of the property. Signs will indicate
the planned date and time of the application; the general area; e.g., fence line,
landscape bed, turf; the product applied; if needed, the timeframe to allow the
product to take effect; and the phone number of either the public operator
performing the work or the operator’s supervisor. Notification to individuals who
are registered with WSDA as pesticide-sensitive will be made at least two (2)
hours prior to application. In other than emergency eradication situations
directed by higher authorities, it is Parks intent to perform such applications when
wind speed is five miles per hour or less, and to limit application to the specific
area intended.
2. Research:
The Parks Department, through staff research and learning opportunities derived
from certification class attendance at a variety of WSDA-approved class sessions,
seeks the most current information on advances in IPM. Research that enables
the department to effectively reduce the net usage while achieving the control
objective of pesticide/herbicide/fungicide applications ranges from products that
specifically target the pest to be controlled and limit broadcast applications, to
products consisting of new components and blends.
As products are introduced that proclaim and demonstrate effectiveness in our
testing and achieve IPM objectives, the department will employ them in the IPM
program.

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3. Objectives:
The IPM guidelines include the following seven objectives:
a. Establish and adhere to maintenance standards that provide for the health
and safe use of Everett’s variety of park lands – turf, in the form of open
spaces, greenways, athletic fields, and golf courses; landscaped areas;
gateways; urban forests; waterways, and park trails and their adjacent
borders.
b. Use vegetation planning and design of parklands to promote healthy plants
while minimizing the onset of pest problems, and thereby reducing the
need for control techniques.
c. Encourage the acceptance of natural settings and appearances for the
purpose of reducing pest control measures and maintenance costs.
Decreasing the reliance on pesticide use in general also helps to prevent
pesticide resistance in target organisms and therefore increases the
effectiveness of pesticides when they are deemed necessary.
d. Manage park land condition and appearance through four established
usage zones that support differing levels of maintenance.
e. Establish thresholds of IPM procedures for each zone to set action levels
for maintenance.
f. Continue to train staff in IPM procedures, regulatory conditions, and
Washington State Department of Agriculture licensure requirements as
public operators.
g. Be equipped to comply with State directives involving the eradication of
noxious weeds and emergency eradication of pests determined by the
State to be hazardous to public health, economic injury, or environmental
impact.

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4. Procedural Baseline – Usage Zones:
Parks-managed properties are categorized in four usage zones for maintenance,
including IPM assessments. These are not geographic zones, but areas that
receive different levels of maintenance and consideration of IPM control
techniques based on type, volume and intensity of use:
High use
Medium use
Low use
Natural settings/ no use
It is common for one park to have more than one maintenance zone, as types and
levels of use within a park can and often do vary widely. For example, a park may
consist of a children’s play area and also athletic fields for organized sports. In this
example two maintenance zones, one with more weed-tolerant protocols than
the other, would be in place.
Zone maintenance applies to three general vegetative elements of Parks-
managed properties:
Turf, including ball fields for organized use, open space & play areas, and
areas bordering and beneath fence lines
Forested areas and trails, including pathways & adjacent landscapes
Ornamental landscape beds, including containers, gateways, borders, and
curb & gutter areas
Tolerance for pests is based upon thresholds established for each zone and
physical element. Thresholds are used to prioritize and set action levels for
maintenance of each of the four zones.

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Procedures:
Turf Areas
Zone 1: High Use Turf Areas
Highly visible, public use turf areas such as sports fields, with little to no user
tolerance for weeds and pests. IPM criteria in these areas are considered and
generally employed to achieve the objective that no more than one to five
percent of the surface has weeds present.
Zone 2: Medium Use Turf Areas
Moderately visible, public turf areas, where some weed and pest tolerance is
acceptable. These may be informal open spaces for unprogrammed play,
relaxation, or walking. IPM criteria are considered and generally employed when
at least 15 percent of a small (36 square foot) representative sample area is weed
infested or general turf quality and health is compromised in at least 10 percent
of the surface area.
Zone 3: Low Use Turf Areas
A low use, low visibility, public use turf area. Higher weed and pest tolerance is
acceptable in these areas, which may border playgrounds or other park amenities.
IPM criteria are considered and generally employed when approximately 50
percent of a small (36 square foot) representative sample area is weed infested or
general turf quality and health is compromised in at least 20 percent of the
surface area.
Zone 4: Natural Turf Areas
A lawn or turf area that is naturalized, or not irrigated, or minimally irrigated, and
browns out in the summer. IPM criteria are considered and generally employed
for severe infestation or the presence of noxious weeds.
Forestry
Management of tree health in the urban parkland environment is part of the IPM
program. These areas are maintained differently in each zone, depending upon
the character of the zone and intensity of use. The numbers of pests and degree
of damage that are tolerated will vary according to the assigned zone.

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Zone 1: High Use Urban Forestry Areas
Features: Trees in high traffic areas such as public plazas, gateways, high visitation
parks, well developed park areas, view areas, other public access areas and other
properties with reasonably high visitations. Trees are generally in highly visible
landscape beds or turf areas.
Pest Management: The control objective is for problems to be either reduced or
observed at a very early stage and controls applied when thresholds are
exceeded.
Insects and Disease: Assess insect and disease populations and identify organisms,
establish proper timing of controls, and apply as thresholds are exceeded.
Controls are applied when disease or insects are inflicting noticeable damage,
reducing vigor of plant materials, or could be considered a risk or bother to the
public. Some minor problems may be tolerated.
Zone 2: Medium Use Urban Forestry Areas
Features: Associated with trees in locations of moderate to low levels of
development and/or moderate to low levels of visitation. Examples include trees
in landscape beds, turf areas, medians, transportation trails, (e.g. the Interurban
Trail), interpretive trails, park areas, adjacent to waterways, and golf courses.
Pest Management: Controls are for epidemics or considered when serious
indications are noted, or verified concerns are communicated. Control measures
may be put into effect when the health or survival of the plant material is
threatened.
Insects and Diseases: Apply controls for disease or insects that are inflicting
noticeable damage, reducing vigor of plant materials or could be considered a
bother to the public. Some minor problems may be tolerated.
Zone 3: Low Use Urban Forestry Areas
Features: Moderately low level usually associated with low level of development,
low visitation, undeveloped areas or remote parks, trees in wooded areas, green
belts, and forested areas with developed trails areas designated as scenic view
areas.

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Pest Management: Controls may be applied when epidemic conditions threaten
resources or the public.
Insects and Diseases: Controls may be applied when epidemic conditions threaten
resources or the public.
Zone 4: No Use Urban Forestry Areas
Features: Little to no use areas without regular visitation and no interests for
visitors. These are areas such as undeveloped remote areas or remote parks,
trees in wooded areas, greenbelts, less-accessible or inaccessible waterways, or
forested areas. No developed trails and no designated scenic areas.
Pest Management: Controls not usually applied, but may be applied when
epidemic conditions threaten resources or the public. May also be applied to
control invasive or noxious weeds as determined by Parks staff or advised to
apply by County or State agencies.
Ornamental Landscapes
Ornamental Landscapes are part of the IPM program. The agency properties that
are maintained include regional parks, community parks, neighborhood parks,
mini parks, agency facilities, open space, gateways, rights-of-way, view overlooks,
and other agency owned properties. Vegetation in the scope of the Ornamental
Landscapes includes, but is not limited to: shrubs; summer annuals; winter
annuals; perennials; and groundcover. Only high, medium, and low use
maintenance zones apply to landscapes.
Zone 1: High Use Landscapes
Relatively high level maintenance applied to the landscape. These areas are
associated with well-developed park areas, public areas and facilities with high
visitation. Minor damage is tolerated at this level.
Soil may be maintained at a level of quality that promotes healthy plant
growth and reduces weeds. Soil sampling may be performed as often as
needed. Mulch to retain moisture, reduce weed growth, and to present a
neat appearance.
Controls may be applied for quality of appearance.

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Zone 2: Medium Use Landscapes
Medium level maintenance applied to the landscape. These areas are associated
with well-developed park areas, public areas and facilities with moderate levels of
visitation. Moderate damage is tolerated at this level.
Soil may be maintained at a level of quality that promotes healthy plant
growth and reduces weeds. Soil sampling may be performed as often as
needed. Mulch to retain moisture, reduce weed growth, and to present a
neat appearance.
Controls may be applied for quality of appearance.
Zone 3: Low Use Landscapes
Maintenance associated with a low level of development and visitation.
Soils may be maintained in an unaltered state or with minimal
amendments. Mulch may be used to maintain weed control as needed.
Fertilizer applied at the appropriate rate and time when necessary for plant
health.
Generally, no pest control except for epidemics, or emerging issues
seriously impacting plant health. Weed control for noxious weeds.