Stratford to launch public education on pesticide use

Dave Stewart
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Results of the third annual residents’ survey were released on Friday

Residents in Stratford want action taken on traffic safety and pesticide use.

The results of the third annual residents’ survey were released on Friday, results that Mayor David Dunphy says the town will be acting on.

The survey also indicates that 85 per cent of the residents have confidence in the town’s RCMP services while 77 per cent said they are happy with the overall governance by council and staff.

See quick survey results

Out of 3,290 homes in the town of close to 10,000 people, 812 responded to the survey either on paper or online. Residents seem to be engaged when it comes to survey based on the fact 675 participated in 2012.

The survey, which was compiled by Inside Marketing, shows 66 per cent of respondents would like to see the town use public education to control cosmetic pesticides. Sixty per cent say safety concerns on the Hillsborough Bridge is the main reason they don’t use active transportation while 40 per cent point point to the speed of traffic as the main concern.

Dunphy said the town will soon implement a public education campaign on cosmetic pesticide use with the focus being on instructing people on how to have a healthy lawn without using chemicals.

“We are glad to now have three years of survey data which provides a solid picture of the level of the use of cosmetic pesticides in the town,’’ the mayor said at a press conference in Stratford Friday. “It demonstrates the strong support residents have on the issue of education and plans are already to do this.’’

That public education campaign is expected to begin in the next few weeks.

It’s the third year in a row residents have pointed to the Hillsborough Bridge and speed of traffic as safety concerns when it comes to active transportation.

“We will be initiating (a plan) this spring to deal with these issued so stay tuned.’’

The town has used past surveys to implement initiatives, such as opening a new public library which has not only doubled in size but doubled in the amount of people who use it. The community gardens was also an idea that came out of the past two surveys and every plot has sold since it opened.

Dawn Binns, a partner with Inside Marketing, said trends are starting to show now that the surveys have been going on for three years.

“You can monitor change over time and that’s really important, to implement something, see if it’s making a difference and, if not, make changes,’’ Binns said.

When it comes to cosmetic pesticides, results aren’t that surprising. Those who don’t use them cite people and pets and their main concerns while those who do use them cite a healthy lawn as the main reason.

“People do care about their lawn (so) we need to make sure we communicate effectively on how non-chemical methods can produce a real good quality lawn,’’ Binns said.

Dunphy said as a matter of showing leadership on the issue, the town does not spray pesticides on town-owned property.

“Ultimately, we’re trying to make a difference in the town,’’ he said.

Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: Stratford

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Recent comments

  • Sensible
    May 26, 2014 - 10:01

    I'm glad the Stratford Council is taking an education approach instead of giving into the vocal campaign from the minority re pesticide use. The scare tactics and misrepresentation of the situation are truly a shame. Work on smoking, drinking, obesity, and physical activity, and the health status of Islanders will improve dramatically. Eliminate all pesticides, and they won't have improved our health - then they'll move onto the dye in clothes or something else of massive importance! Thank you for your common sense, Council, and keep up the good work, Council.

  • transparency needed for public services
    May 25, 2014 - 19:29

    Ok, so I'm happy with almost everything Stratford does.... Except for its contract with a private business monopoly called the Cross Roads fire department. Where is the accounting for the costs of this business and how my taxes to the town are accounted for through this exclusive contract?

    • No words
      May 25, 2014 - 22:27 want to start you're own fire department or something? 1 vote for the most ridiculous comment of 2014.

  • vick
    May 25, 2014 - 16:17

    Couldnt agree with CSA more……..stratford residents are not interested in a pesticide ban as Labchuk likes to tell the press…..and the smell and cosmetic look of that lagoon has to go! Policing our community, keeping us safe, and dealing with our water/sewage would be a number one priority for me ! Good job council continue the good work.

  • The Observer from Stratford
    May 25, 2014 - 15:38

    Will the anti-pesticide program include the Golf Course in Stratford? It can't be a coincidence that golf courses always manage to obtain exemptions from these kinds of programs but one look at the types of cars and licence plates parked at these places tells you why.

  • The UrbanOysterman
    May 25, 2014 - 10:33

    The whole of the Island should cocider a study done by an out of Atlantic Canada University research team that specialized in Pest and Hernicide spraying... commercial and residential. The Island has some high and unusual respitory and cancer stats when it comes to the ratio of Acreage and people per acre. We have not even discussed the fish kills down stream! No wonder 4/5 of the Island vacates for some away time, especially in the cold weather and the kitchen drinking and tea water! Everything in moderation and through knowledge, at the correct amounts at the correct cycle to an environment that has absolutely no aggrate and the land soaks in every drop of what it gives back! I've got to put the tea water on!

  • Common Sence Approach
    May 25, 2014 - 09:24

    This would be a very common sence approach to pesicides not a ban telling us in stratford that we cannot use them........I have a professional lawn care company take care of my lawn and when he has to use pesticides he uses them and than continues to work on all the other things to help prevent the weeds and insects from getting into my lawn.........I believe we have bigger issues to deal with than worrying about lawn pesticides people like our lagoon beside the river and Macdonalds!

  • voter
    May 25, 2014 - 06:08

    leave your car doors open at night and then decide about change in criminal activity - or you could put a blinking light at the end of your driveway-- concerning those that use pesticides -they are no different than the noisy pool owner - they really don't care as long as people complement them on their pools and lawns --LOOKS ARE EVERYTHING- hope i pressed your button !!