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Chemical Application In Our Parks
Frequently Asked Questions

Each spring, pesticide and fertilizer is used in our community parks to protect grass areas from invasive weeds and harmful insects. The Park District wants to keep you informed in order to provide you with the safest recreational experiences possible. We have created this F.A.Q. list to help you understand how chemicals are used in the parks.

If you have any additional questions, or to sign up for our pesticide application email alert, please contact Noah Mach at 847-295-6449.

What is a Pesticide Signal Word?

Signal words are assigned to pesticides and other chemical products to denote the toxicity of that particular product:

Danger: Highly toxic: lethal dose is a few drops to a teaspoon. Danger category may include such cleaners as: oven cleaners, drain openers, rust removers, and toilet bowl cleaners.

Warning: Moderately toxic: lethal dose is a teaspoon to a tablespoon. Warning category may include such cleaners as: floor cleaners and disinfectant sprays.

Caution: Low toxicity: lethal dose is an ounce to more than a pint. Caution category is very broad. Includes products with varying degrees of safety.

What type of pesticides does the Park District use?

Herbicides - The district uses two herbicides to control weeds in the turf, Speedzone and Barricade. Both of these products are listed with the “Caution” signal word which means it has a lower toxicity level.

Round Up - We also periodically use Round Up which is a non-selective herbicide in order to remove weeds in sidewalk/parking lot cracks, or around the baseball backstops. This product also has the “Caution” signal word.

How often does the Park District apply pesticides to the parks?

Spring and/or Fall Application - The Park District makes one spring application per year. The herbicides in this application treat for dandelions, clover, and other broadleaf weeds. For this application the park district will close the park until the chemical is dry on the plant. An email blast will also distribute at 24 hours before the application.

Spot Spray Applications - Throughout the year the park district will make small applications of round up or other chemicals in very small quantities. These applications are site specific and will not cause a closure of the park. Small flags will warn the guests that an application has been made in that area.

Fertilizer - We apply fertilizer once per year to the park turf, there is no signal word due to the low level of any toxicity. The parks will remain open through the fertilization application.

Who can apply pesticides to the parks?

Anyone applying pesticides for the Park District has been trained and licensed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

How much pesticide is used to treat the parks?

We follow all label rates and use the lowest amount possible that is still effective. A typical rate is 1.2 oz. of herbicide is mixed in a gallon of water and applied to 1000 ft2 of turf.

How will I know the Park District will be applying, or has applied pesticide to a park?

The Park District posts signage before, and on the day of treatment everywhere pesticides will be applied. The park will be closed just before, during and after application until the product is dried on the plant and it is safe to re-enter. Additionally, flags posted around the perimeter of the parks, they are white with red lettering alerting guests to the application.

After treatment, when is it safe to enter the park?

Once the product is dry on the plant, it is safe to re-enter our parks and resume normal activities. This usually takes a few hours but can be shorter depending on the amount of sun and wind. It does not “rub off” onto skin once it has dried on the plant.


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