House Workgroup Hears Testimony on Pesticide Use on Recreational and School Lands

On October 28, 2015, county representatives testified before a House Environment and Transportation Committee Pesticides Workgroup on the use of pesticides by county park and recreation departments.  The Workgroup is reviewing proposed legislation from the 2015 Session (HB 995)that would have banned the use of pesticides and herbicides at schools, recreational fields used by minors, and child care centers.  Both MACo and the Maryland Association of County Park and Recreation Administrators (MACPRA) opposed the legislation, arguing that the bill was overbroad and would place unnecessary restrictions on the ability of county park and recreation departments to responsibly manage public recreational lands.

At the Workgroup meeting, MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp and Anne Arundel County Park and Recreation Director and  (MACPRA) President Rick Anthony again stressed that county park and recreation departments are charged with maintaining a variety of athletic fields, parklands, and environmentally sensitive areas and that when necessary, pesticides are applied judiciously.  Both Knapp and Anthony also stressed that applications must be done in compliance with State and federal regulations and all registered pesticide applications must be recorded.

The House Workgroup consisted of Delegates Jim Gilchrist, Barbara Frush, and Charles Otto.  Representatives from the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, municipal parks, Maryland State Child Care Association, Maryland Association of Boards of Education, lawncare and landscaping industries, Safe Grow Montgomery, Beyond Pesticides, and the City of Takoma Park also testified.

For further information on the briefing, please contact Les Knapp at 410.269.0043 or

The 2015 MACo Winter Conference will feature a session on the pesticide usage by county parks and recreation departments on Thursday, December 10, at 3:30 pm.

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference:

Questions? Contact Meetings & Events Director Virginia White.