CALGARY- Concerns are being raised about weed control in Nose Hill Park, due to side effects caused by a herbicide spray.
Abby and Dave Moss take their dog to the off-leash park almost every day, and recently noticed a sign warning that Clopyralid was used in the area. When they researched the chemical, they were disturbed by what they learned.
“I looked up the ingredients and found unsettling information,” Abby Moss says. “In lab studies it had caused reproductive problems, it can cause dizziness, vomiting and diarrhea.”
She adds there must be some alternative.
“Are there ways we can work with nature to find a balance that isn’t harmful, and can stay in soil for months and not cause all kinds of things we are and aren’t aware of?”
City parks officials say the herbicide is used to control thistles, and that if the invasive species were left alone it would overwhelm native species and damage the park’s ecosystem.
“All of these products are regulated by Health Canada,” says James Borrow from the City of Calgary, adding they rely on their guidance when choosing which products to use. “They go through provincially regulated testing, I don’t know what else I can say.”
Several city parks are designated pesticide and herbicide free, which isn’t an option for Nose Hill Park due to the spread of certain weeds.