From a press release:
Starting in October, Bay Area shoppers will have a new resource at Grand Lake Ace Hardware's garden center, 1221 Grand Ave., and 13 other stores: employees trained by professionals who have gone through a rigorous year volunteering in retail nurseries, hardware stores, and garden centers in order to educate and train store employees about less toxic pest management products and methods.
These professionals, called Integrated Pest Management Advocates, have taken courses taught by top experts from the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UCIPM) and professionals in the nursery industry.
The advocates then spent nearly one year with store managers, buyers, and retail associates training and guiding them towards effective pest management products and techniques with the least impact on the environment. The program was funded by a Pest Management Alliance grant from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, and the program is getting a boost from new funding from the U.S EPA’s San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund.
"We have a big opportunity here to have our neighborhoods reduce their use of toxic pesticides." said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest.
“The Integrated Pest Management Advocates program is really about helping the consumer. It can be overwhelming to make choices at the store because of the breadth of products on the market,” explains Geoff Brosseau, Executive Director of the Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association (BASMAA). “Home and garden pests can be managed with less-toxic methods. With trained managers and employees, consumers can now get more support in finding less-toxic products. These products effectively manage pests with the least impact on the environment.”
Grand Lake Ace Hardware and the other stores in the Integrated Pest Management Advocates program also currently participate in the “Our Water Our World” program that partners with BASMAA.
For more information on less toxic gardening products and water pollution prevention tips, visit BayWise.org. For a list of stores participating in the Our Water Our World program, visit ourwaterourworld.org.