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The 2001 IPM Innovators Awards

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The 2001 Awardees are:

Caltrans District 1, Eureka

California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 1, the northernmost of 12 districts, is responsible for state highways in Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, and Lake counties. The district has implemented IPM as part of its highway planning, construction, and maintenance operations, and it supports weed control research by the University of California (UC) and Caltrans. The district is using or exploring alternative vegetation controls such as fire resistant plants and native plant species. For weed control, the district is evaluating alternatives that include superheated water, dry steam, flaming, radiant heat, weed control mats, "smart" sprayers, and mulches. The district established the District Roadside Vegetation Management Advisory Committee, which meets three times a year with stakeholders to develop and implement alternatives to herbicides. To publicize its efforts, the district issues news releases and invites the news media, the public, and other agencies to committee meetings and IPM demonstrations.

Media contact: Leslie Buttolph, Caltrans Public Affairs, (707) 445-6444.

City and County of San Francisco

The City and County of San Francisco passed an ordinance in 1996 that created a mandatory IPM Program for public property with the primary goal of reducing pesticide use. All county departments have achieved significant reductions in pesticide use. San Francisco’s IPM Program educates and encourages public workers to use pesticide alternatives in hospitals, jails, office buildings, the San Francisco Port and the International Airport, golf courses, parks, and watershed areas. For example, groundskeepers at municipal golf courses have substituted a "compost tea" for fungicides. In other areas, herbicides have been replaced with mulches, weed cloth, landscape design, and competitive plantings; beneficial insects control aphids and scale in greenhouses and landscapes. A citywide structural pest control contract requires use of IPM in and around public buildings. San Francisco also hosts an annual IPM Conference that attracts more than 200 IPM specialists from across the state; holds monthly meetings to discuss pest management challenges and successes, and hosts demonstration days for new pest management tools. San Francisco’s Department of the Environment features information on IPM at its Web site www.sfenvironment.org.

Media contact: Mark Westlund, (415) 355-3714.

El Modeno Gardens Inc., Irvine

This family-owned, wholesale business produces containerized nursery stock on 500 acres in Irvine, Watsonville, Hollister, Valley Center, and Lake Mathews. El Modeno has dramatically reduced its pesticide use through cultural and physical controls, biological controls, routine pest monitoring, spot treatments, selective use of low-impact pesticides, pesticide resistance management, and electrostatic sprayers. The company adopted a UC IPM scouting program in which all employees are trained to recognize pests of concern to production and export. When the red imported fire ant invasion of Southern California prompted state and federal quarantines mandating pesticide use on nursery stock, El Modeno took action to mitigate pesticide runoff. The Irvine operation devised onsite sediment basins to absorb pesticides with vegetation strips. The company also uses a novel, computerized pulse irrigation system to reduce pesticide runoff. El Modeno also cooperated with DPR’s Containerized Nursery Pest Management Alliance, which was formed to reduce risks from pesticides required for quarantines. In the last two years, El Modeno has hosted six major tours to demonstrate reduction measures for pesticide runoff, and provided information for industry conferences and seminars.

Media contact: Jo-Anne Newton, (949) 559-1234.

Ganna Walska Lotusland Foundation, Santa Barbara

This 37-acre botanical garden in Santa Barbara was first developed as a nursery in 1882 and continued as a private garden. The last private owner was Madame Ganna Walska, a Polish opera singer who lived on the estate until her death in 1984. Lotusland then became a nonprofit educational institution that offers guided tours. Lotusland’s IPM program includes practices that allow maintenance without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, thanks to composting and mulching, release of natural predators, insectary plants, improved drainage to control disease and nematodes, "compost tea", and other reduced-risk practices. Staffers give presentations, demonstrations, and workshops on IPM garden management to garden clubs, horticultural classes, parks and school groundskeepers, and maintenance workers from local hotels and resorts. In addition, a docent visits schools and works with teachers on plant care and the natural ecology of the garden. Lotusland has a quarterly newsletter that regularly discusses IPM practices. The staff extended their outreach in 2000 with a "Dynamic Dirt Seminar" on organic soil improvement and a Compost Tea Workshop that explained compost benefits. Lotusland also is involved in the Sustainable Santa Barbara Project.

Media contact: Steven Timbrook, (805) 969-3767, ext. 103.

Lundberg Family Farms, Richvale

The Lundberg family began farming in the Sacramento Valley in the 1930s. Today, Lundberg Family Farms produces many rice varieties and all-natural rice products. The Lundbergs incorporate rice straw back into the soil and have not burned rice straw since 1963. About 70 percent of Lundberg production is organic. In non-organic (Nutra-Farmed) fields, low rates of reduced-risk herbicides are used only when necessary. Field pest control methods include poles with Mylar tape to discourage blackbirds, noise guns to repel waterfowl, crayfish traps, and owl nest boxes for rodent control. The Lundbergs use carbon dioxide in organic storage bins and heat treatments for insect pest control around processing, storage, and warehouse facilities. Area growers who produce for the Lundbergs receive IPM training and make their own suggestions at semi-annual grower meetings and the Lundberg Field Day. The Lundbergs share innovations through "The Lundberg Rice Paper " newsletter published since 1994, and a Web site www.lundberg.com.

Media contact: Ingrid Lundberg, (530) 882-4551.

Novato Unified School District, Novato

The Novato Unified School District, with 16 campuses in Marin County, has used IPM practices since 1991 and formalized its program in the last three years. In this short time, district schools dramatically cut pesticide use. Reduced-risk pest management practices include exclusionary barriers and architectural structures for bird control; realistic, attainable pest population thresholds, particularly for weed control; mechanical pest controls, including trapping; bait stations for yellow jacket wasps and other pest insects; preventive sanitation measures against ants and cockroaches, and least-toxic pest control selection methodology. With assistance from the Marin County Agricultural Commissioner and DPR, Novato Unified formed a Pest Management Alliance to develop a model IPM plan for schools statewide. The alliance has provided IPM demonstration and training events, and it co-hosted the first statewide School IPM Expo this summer. Novato Unified also held an IPM event for the Tribal Nations sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Media contact: Ron Warfield, (415) 898-8103.

Pest Management Associates, Inc., Exeter

Pest Management Associates, Inc., formerly Stewart and Gorden, is an independent consulting business started in 1968. Partners James Stewart and James Gorden are recognized as pioneers in applied citrus IPM in the Central Valley. Today, Pest Management Associates is one of the largest independent consulting firms in the Central Valley with seven full-time pest control advisers and a permanent seasonal technician. The firm also sponsors an annual training and employment program for three to five college interns. Based in Tulare County, Pest Management Associates advises growers with about 30,000 acres of citrus and other crops in Tulare, Kern, Madera, and Fresno counties. Emphasis is placed on monitoring, biological control agents, soft pesticides, and reduced pesticide rates. Pest Management Associates has been involved in many UC IPM citrus research projects. The owners are charter members of the Association of Applied Insect Ecologists (AAIE), which emphasizes exchange of IPM information. The company has contributed to several UC Citrus IPM manuals; hosts field days, and volunteers assistance for the Exeter High School Ag Farm Program.

Media contact: James Gorden, (559) 592-9461 or (559) 730-0454.

Pizza Farm, Madera

Pizza Farm is an agricultural awareness program operated by Thank A Farmer, Inc., a nonprofit corporation. The eight-year-old farm at the Madera District Fairgrounds was created to educate and entertain urban residents, particularly school children. It consists of a pie-shaped growing and grazing area -- divided into eight "slices" -- that produces all the ingredients needed for making pizza. The farm uses biological control, crop rotation, cover crops, solarization, minimum till, insect trapping, and owl nest boxes. IPM practices are incorporated into every demonstration. For example, students search tomato plants for tomato hornworms on a "bug safari." More than 100,000 students, teachers, and parents have toured the Pizza Farm to date. Visitors receive educational materials, and teachers receive a 60-page curriculum and an activity book. Pizza Farm has a Web site at www.pizzafarm.org.

Media contact: Darren Schmall, (559) 675-1254.

Sacramento Water Wise Pest Control Program, Sacramento

Sacramento Water Wise Pest Control Program is a partnership involving Sacramento County; the cities of Folsom, Galt, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, and Sacramento; UC Master Gardeners, and the UC IPM Project. Using a variety of media, the Water Wise program teaches urban residents to use IPM and prevent pesticide runoff into storm drains that enters creeks and streams. Brochures tell consumers how to identify pests, cultivate pest-resistant plants, use non-chemical pest control, and discourage pests with barriers and cultural practices. Safe use, storage, and disposal of pesticides are also stressed. Consumer cards offer IPM tips for common household pests. A "Bug Buddies" curriculum for school children explains how using beneficial insects for pest control can help protect waterways. UC Master Gardeners use program information in their public presentations on pesticides, storm drains, and water quality. The program also offers IPM information and links online at www.sacstormwater.org.

Media contact: Rita Pasillas, (916) 264-8260.

If you would like to find out more about IPM, our IPM Innovators, or the IPM Innovators Program, you can contact:

For content questions, contact:
Melissa Plemons
1001 I Street, P.O. Box 4015
Sacramento, CA 95812-4015
Phone: (916) 324-3483
E-mail: school-ipm@cdpr.ca.gov