The Environmental Committee shall provide the governing body
with information & recommended actions pertaining to
the betterment of the environment

October 18, 2006

The issue of the poison-ivy infested hedge at the Wanamaker Field and its possible treatment or removal was discussed at a Mayor and Council meeting in September after a citizen asked that the hedge be removed. Councilman Brian Hall requested a recommendation from the Environmental Committee (due to the potential use of an herbicide at a public park). The Environmental Committee added the issue to its October 18, 2006 meeting agenda. The following serves as our recommendation.

We understand that there are no Borough employees currently licensed as a Pesticide Applicator, but that they are currently addressing this issue. Our research (telephone discussion and review of literature from Rutgers Cooperative Extension and the Ocean County Health Department) has shown that poison ivy must be treated, and that removal of the hedge may not accomplish this task, as roots may remain which will reappear in any hedge which is planted as a replacement.

According to the Ocean County Department of Health, while the use of pesticides is allowed on public property, if a member of the Public Works attempts to treat the area himself, the borough is liable for pesticide spraying without a license on that property, and if all adjoining properties are not notified of the treatment, fines will also be imposed for failing to notify the property owners.

Removing the hedge without expert advice on treating the underlying problem is not recommended. It is our recommendation that a licensed Pesticide Applicator be hired by the town to determine the proper treatment and permanent solution to this problem. It is also recommended that the poison ivy problem at Boy Scout Island be addressed at the same time.

Thank you for the opportunity to assist in this matter.