Pesticide use at Moncton school concerns mother

A Moncton parent is raising concerns over why a private company was allowed to use pesticides on the grass at Evergreen Park School despite a district policy against spraying pesticides.

Anglophone East School District says use of pesticides on school property is prohibited

A Moncton parent is raising concerns over why a private company was allowed to use pesticides on the grass at Evergreen Park School despite a district policy against spraying pesticides.

Nancy Trites, a nurse and mother of two, said she likes to bring her children to the school’s playground for some fresh air.

A trip to the playground last week prompted questions about the school’s lawn care policy when she saw pesticide use notification signs on the front lawn.

Trites said she started making calls right away to find out why the pesticides were used. Those calls led her to the discovery that there is a double standard in the district when it comes to the use of chemicals.

“I didn't know until I called the district and they had said, “No … we don't do that that's part of the public-private [partnership] so you'll have to call this Greenarm Corp. to see what they have to say,” she said.

Trites said her children have attended Evergreen Park since they were in kindergarten and this is the first time she heard that her school is different. Evergreen Park School was built in 1999 through a public-private partnership.

It left her with some questions about other policies that could be different based on the public-private partnership.

"OK, so in the private-public situation, where do they have governance over and above the district? What can they do different?” she asked.

A spokesperson from the Anglophone East School District confirmed it is against district policy to use pesticides on school property.

The spokesperson said the school district is looking into what happened at Evergreen Park School.

Greenarm did not return calls to CBC News about the use of pesticides on the school's lawn.

Trites said she was told during her calls that the grass was sprayed in order to save the lawn.

"It'd probably be expensive to replace, however you know, I don't care about the lawn. I care about the cancer,” she said,

“You know that's where my loyalties lay, with my children and maybe with all the other parents who have their children who attend here. And you know, I was quite disappointed.”

The New Brunswick government banned the use and sale of 200 over-the-counter lawn-care pesticides in 2009.

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