Pesticide-free at three Abbotsford schools

A pilot program will monitor weed control without the use of chemicals for a year.

The Abbotsford school district is cutting back on pesticide use.

Three schools will be pesticide-free for a year, while the use of Caseron has been eliminated throughout the district, and there will be a 50 per cent reduction in the use of Roundup.

Caseron and Roundup are both weed killers.

The three schools where no pesticides will be used are McMillan elementary, Rick Hansen secondary, and Abbotsford middle school.

School district spokesman Dave Stephen said these sites have received a thorough weeding, and blackberry bushes have been cut back along fence lines.

The grass will be cut on playing fields throughout the season, but otherwise the sites will be left alone.

Stephen said the goal is to gauge the growth of weeds and blackberries, and the appearance of the school grounds.

The test period will run until Jan. 31, 2014.

The district will maintain its policy of not spraying pesticides in play areas or on fields.