Farming Safely Near Schools
The Monterey County Pesticide Notification Pilot Project (PNP) has been hard at work incorporating stakeholder input into the development of an informational website, FarmingSafelyNearSchools.com. Launching the week of June 4, 2018, the website features information on pesticide regulations, farm neighbors, health facts, and a notification signup page that allows website users to receive emailed information on scheduled fumigations within a quarter of a mile from the three Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) locations currently covered by the PNP: Hall District Elementary, Ohlone Elementary, and Pajaro Middle Schools. The website will also have content available in Spanish, with more Spanish pages being added as translation is completed.
The expectation is that this website will be dynamic and responsive to stakeholder opinions on the types of information included and kept current with regulation updates. Using an embedded survey, the PNP team plans to assess stakeholders’ experience on the website. The survey will be completed while exploring the information contained on the website. This feature will be available soon. The team also looks forward to continued dialogue with stakeholders to discuss the website, notification system and improvements that can be made. The PNP team is grateful for the contributions of the various stakeholder groups in providing comments and recommendations for the new website, including representatives from Californians for Pesticide Reform (CPR), Center for Community Advocacy, Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (The CHAMACOS Study) at UC Berkeley, Grower-Shipper Association, Monterey County Farm Bureau, California Strawberry Commission, Monterey Bay Central Labor Council, Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers, PVUSD Trustees, District Administrators, Migrant Education, and school Principals.
The FarmingSafelyNearSchools.com website is now active and ready to provide the content and request notifications.
With support from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, the PNP website has successfully allowed local residents to find information related to crop protection applications in the pilot areas. The Board of Supervisors received an update on this pilot program in late 2020; the program will continue on this level for the 2021 growing season.