Stakeholder Outreach

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A lack of shared awareness and goals amongst policy makers, management, IPM practitioners and the public regarding alternatives to pesticides is commonly cited as a challenge to pesticide reduction. Successful outreach programs are based on a solid understanding of the needs of the targeted audience and the use of appropriate techniques to disseminate the needed information.

IPM outreach involves connecting with practitioners of pest management, as well as their customers. These can include policy makers, budget managers, and building occupants, all having the potential to influence the direction of product and service markets through demand. Ultimately IPM outreach addresses the interests of environmentally concerned citizens who support reducing the use of pesticides.

The County of Santa Clara IPM program implements outreach by identifying the diverse array of stakeholders including, policy makers, regulators, County management, IPM practitioners, and the public. This stakeholder group also includes non-traditional audiences such as professionals in the fields of air, land and water quality-control, public health and safety, occupational safety, environmental compliance, climate change, sustainability, health and environmental advocates, community groups, the elderly and children.

The program has explored partnerships to leverage financial resources and create staffing efficiencies through data and information sharing. Partnerships also assist with development of streamlined regionally consistent messages that are easily recognized, and less likely to include conflicting practices.

 

      Facilitation of a collaborative IPM training programs and conferences, inclusive of several Bay Area agencies, is a long-term goal of the program. Such events share education and outreach with a larger community and are an efficient use of scarce resources. The County's leadership realized the importance of this collaboration and worked to form the first Northern California Regional IPM Alliance.

      As the original sponsor for this creative approach, Santa Clara County took a leadership and fiscal management role in setting up a regional IPM trust fund. The fund is used to promote establishment of collaborative education and outreach activities. An annual regional IPM conference is rotated among participating jurisdictions in Northern California. This united approach helps leverage scarce resources and addressed issues that go beyond city or County boundaries to promote pest prevention and minimize pesticide use.

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      Pesticides used in landscape maintenance can be a source of pollution in local waterways. Many landscaping companies are unaware of less-toxic methods that can be used to control pests and minimize pesticide runoff. Through the Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program (SCVURPPP) coalition, of which the County is a member, the IPM Program has collaborated to outreach to landscapers through the Green Gardener training program.

      The SCVURPP also promotes pesticide-use reduction strategies through various outreach projects such as promoting IPM education at commercial nursery outlets, media campaigns, and other venues.

      Find out more about SCVURPPP here:

      https://scvurppp.org/about-scvurppp/

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      The challenges of climate change, water supply, and pollution are both global and regional. Solutions to these challenges require collaboration among the public agencies, organizations, and individuals. The San Francisco Bay Area now has an exciting coalition devoted exclusively to promoting sustainable landscaping and gardening practices that conserve water and resources while reducing pollution, all to benefit both the economic and environmental health of the Bay Area.

      Launched in 2007, the Bay-Friendly landscape and gardening coalition provides tools that assist public agencies in meeting environmental mandates. It also gives landscape professionals a unique set of eco-friendly qualifications and home gardeners the knowledge to reduce their impact on their communities and environment. By creating a common understanding among consumers, professionals, regulators and local governments, Bay-Friendly is one of the few programs to take a holistic approach to promoting the design, construction and maintenance of sustainable landscapes.

      Over 24 organizations from around the Bay, including the County of Santa Clara, have signed a declaration of support for the eight Bay-Friendly principles:

      • Landscape locally
      • Landscape for less to the landfill
      • Nurture the soil
      • Conserve water
      • Conserve energy
      • Protect water and air quality
      • Create and protect wildlife habitat
      • Sequester carbon

      The County IPM manager participated in the Bay-Friendly coalition’s board of directors committee to promote Bay-Friendly landscaping practices as an additional means of creating and leveraging outreach opportunities.

      This alliance is now an independent non-profit organization known as ReScape California. For more information visit the web site: rescapeca.org

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      The IPM Program is a partner in the California Department of Pesticide Regulation Pest Management Alliance (PMA) – Urban Pest Ant Management Project. This project is coordinated by the Entomology Department of the University of California, Riverside and made possible through a grant from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Ants are one of the most common pests in urban areas and the project's goal is to significantly reduce the use of synthetic insecticides in these areas. Through participating pest control companies, the project demonstrated 50% reduction in synthetic pyrethroid use in participants' service routes.

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      In 2010, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation awarded a $200,000 grant to the City of San Jose to create a model, pesticide-free urban park in San Jose's Courtyard Gardens within Guadalupe River Park. The County IPM Program participated as an alliance partner. On September 22, 2012, the garden was opened for public view and educational outreach. Today, Nature's Inspiration Gardens feature low-maintenance, drought-tolerant and native plants that invite beneficial insects and wildlife and help prevent contamination of waterways.

      Pest control has shifted from pesticide-based to integrated pest management, a combination of natural and preventive strategies that focus on long-term pest prevention and are as benign as possible to people, pets and the environment. Besides a great outreach to Santa Clara County residents, funds from this project were also effectively used to train the City and County staff on Bay-Friendly Landscaping and Gardening principles and practices.

      Learn more here:

      Nature's Inspiration Gardens (PDF)

      Garden Designs & Demonstrations

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      The IPM program manager sits on the advisory board of the University of California Davis, "Pesticide Runoff Mitigation and Education" project funded by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. The goals of the project are to develop educational materials related to pesticide runoff mitigation and to target four specific audiences for the educational outreach:

      • the public
      • retail nurseries
      • commercial landscapers
      • professional structural pesticide applicators

      Available outreach products are posted at UC IPM:

      Urban Pesticides and Water Quality

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          The County took a leadership role in developing a Regional IPM Conference with the goal of bringing as many Northern California public agencies together as possible to consider IPM issues that reach beyond jurisdictional boundaries.

          As the original sponsor, Santa Clara County hosted the first Regional IPM Conference, held on June 7, 2004.

          The County of Santa Clara then assisted the County of Alameda to organize the second annual conference in 2005.

          The City of San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley Water District organized the third annual conference in 2006.

          Approximately 1,500 diverse attendees representing more than 150 public agencies, more than 100 private companies, and including more than 55 speakers attended the first three conferences. Planning for future regional conferences is underway. Additionally, a comprehensive regional IPM resource manual was developed with more than 1500 copies distributed to various interest groups at no cost.

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