Concerned citizens in Fernie have raised issue and started an online petition regarding the City of Fernie planned use of Herbicides in public spaces and parks. The concern is largely from parents with young children who question the potential health and environmental effects.

Here is the City of Fernie Notice that was sent out on May 30, 2017:

Notice of Herbicide Application

A herbicide will be applied to facility grounds in the City of Fernie between May 31 and June 2, 2017. This is as part of a maintenance procedure to protect the turf areas for future enjoyment.
The application is weather dependent and will take place from 7am- 4pm at the following facility grounds:
• Max Turyk Community Centre
• City Hall Courthouse
• Fernie Aquatic Centre
• Fernie Memorial Arena & Community Centre
• James White Park (excluding Tennis Court area)
• Ridgemont Park
• Silver Ridge Munroe Cemetery Grounds

Please stay off the turf areas until they are dry on the application date. You will see our signs posted which indicates it was applied to the turf areas. The herbicide is Trillion-P (PCP#27972), the active ingredients are Dicamba, Mecoprop and 2, 4-D.

Ayla Bennett, a scientest and local mother wrote:

“As a scientist and a naturalist I prefer to follow a precautionary principle. Just because something has not been proven harmful does not mean that it isn’t and that it won’t soon be shown to be devastating to our health and local environment. For me, the first well-known example that comes to mind is DDT. However, this article highlights several other more recent ones.

Despite the fact that children are one of the groups most at risk with herbicide/pesticide use, no studies have been done looking at the effects of “2,4-D” in children. Below is a link to a World Health Organization statement which lists 2,4-D as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”… due to inadequate evidence in humans. Whereas DDT is only listed as “probably carcinogenic to humans“.

Call me overprotective, but I don’t want to expose my children to anything today which is going to be proven dangerous tomorrow. Not to mention potential impacts on local aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, since 2,4-D is a pesticide that persists in its environment. This chemical has already been found in ground water as well as surface water.

In the future, I hope the COF representatives will make similar requests and approvals for bylaw exemptions known to community members allowing citizens an opportunity to voice their concerns.”

The petition link is online here: Fernie Parks should be Pesticide Free!

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