New City Policy on Vegetation Management Paying Off for Native Plants

by Henry House

The city’s parks and public roads effectively went pesticide-free in 2018, according to Alan Prior of the city’s Hazardous Materials Subcommittee of the Natural Resources Commission.

The current official city Integrated Pest Management Policy was recommended by staff in November 2017 and approved by the council, but was opposed by many citizens as well as three commissioners as it was too mild to strongly protect residents from pesticide exposure in city parks.

Although pesticides remain an official policy option (with 48-hour public notice), Parks and Recreation made one application of any pesticide in a park in 2018.

The city deserves praise for its restraint, which will hopefully continue in 2019.

The new almost-pesticide-free policy has paid off for native annual plants on our roadsides, which are now lush with the native Claytonia, pictured. Great job Davis!

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    1. Alan Pryor

      Claytonia is a native plant.

      From Wikipedia:

      Claytonia perfoliata (syn. Montia perfoliata), also known as Indian lettuce, spring beauty, winter purslane, or miner’s lettuce, is a flowering plant in the Montiaceae family. It is a fleshy, herbaceous annual plant native to the western mountain and coastal regions from southernmost Alaska and central British Columbia all the way south to Central America, but most common in California in the Sacramento and northern San Joaquin Valleys.

      It is nicknamed Miners’Lettuce because the 49ers greatly valued it as the first source of greens in the early Spring after a long Winter of hard tack and lard. I’ve eaten it myself many times and it is a delicious green. Sometimes it is boiled like spinach which it resembles in taste and chemical composition.

      However, it’s probably not a good idea to eat it if harvested in town because of the possibility of animal waste deposited on it.

      1. Don Shor

        I am aware of what miner’s lettuce is. My statement stands:

        Almost all of the plants you are seeing in the unsprayed areas now are non-native weeds. Very few, if any, are natives.

        It’s a nice picture of one place where a native plant has grown. Perhaps the volunteers who are out doing the hand-weeding that was promised could get some wildflower seeds and native grass seeds and distribute those. I’d even be happy to donate to a project like that (better done in the fall).

  1. Bill Marshall

    “weed”:  a plant growing where “it doesn’t belong”… a Jerusalem rose, or an orchid, growing in the middle of an apple or almond orchard, is a ‘weed’…

    For some, a non-native person is oft seen as a ‘weed’… maybe a stretch of an analogy… yet there are those who would favor eradicating ‘weeds’…

      1. Bill Marshall

        Actually, any people… the ‘Native Americans’ are immigrants…

        You missed my point about how some, comprising a certain person’s “base” look at things… I have nothing in common with them in this regard…

  2. Bill Marshall

    Is the Alan Prior, referred to in the article any relation to Alan Pryor?
    Spelling doesn’t count for much, but for names, let’s try to get it ‘wright’…

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