May 2, 2016
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Richmond’s ban on the use of herbicides on city properties has made it difficult for landscaping crews to keep up with ever-sprouting weeds, particularly after the rainy season, but a city official says he expects all street medians will be trimmed by mid-May, according to City Manager Bill Lindsay’s weekly newsletter.

Meanwhile, the city is beginning a pilot project to use organic, non-toxic sprays to combat weeds. The public should not to be alarmed when they see crews spraying paved areas of Civic Center Plaza, as the product being tested is a nontoxic alternative, Lindsay’s newsletter said.

The city is putting extra emphasis on tackling the weed problem following a report to City Council in March that crews have struggled to maintain city properties, including youth sports fields.

Part of the problem is the city can’t afford more staff to maintain the weeds. Also, more than a year ago City Council banned the use of herbicides on city properties in an effort to spare workers and residents from exposure to the chemical glyphosate. City workers say the ban has made it difficult to keep up with the weeds.

Despite these hardships, a city official has made trimming street medians a focus and appears confident the city will be looking more clean-cut in short time. Tim Higares, who was recently elevated from his role as code enforcement chief to Director of Infrastructure and Maintenance Operations, is scheduling service citywide and “estimates that all medians in the City will be trimmed by May 13th, and maintained currently thereafter,” according to the city.

Before-and-after photo of a Carlson Boulevard street median provided by the city


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.