Residents armed for fight against weeds | ParkRecord.com

Residents armed for fight against weeds

Sarah Moffitt, The Park Record

The Summit County Weed Department is working overtime this summer to try to keep noxious weeds in the area under control and stop them from displacing more native vegetation.

Summit County Weed Enforcement Officer David Bingham said that more people than usual have been renting the county’s weed spray equipment, especially in Park City.

"I think people are a lot more aware this year of the risk these weeds are posing and how quickly they are taking over," he said. "But at the same time, I am surprised at how many people have let the noxious weeds spread through their lawn. The county offers a lot of help to residents to control weeds, because if residents do their part it really helps us to make sure the weeds are under control and not entering new places."

Bingham travels around the county and notifies residents who have an especially large crop of noxious weeds in their yard. The county offers residents the use of chemicals at cost and sprayers.

"The way we get the best results is knocking on people’s doors," he said. "If that doesn’t yield results and they do not take control of the weeds on their land then we send them a mailer, then we issue a citation. After a few weeks the county will go in and spray their land and charge them for it."

Summit County Weed Department Administrator Jack Marchant said that because of the dry winter and warm spring, the county has put extra effort into making sure residents know about noxious weeds and how to treat them.

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"We have been distributing pamphlets and will come out to any residence and help them diagnose what kind of weeds they have and how to control them," Marchant said. "Right now, our biggest concern is garlic mustard and Dyer’s woad in Silver Creek and thistles on the East Side."

Marchant added that residents in Highland Estates seem to have the most weeds in their yards and neighbors in Park West have made the biggest improvement over the past few years in controlling Dyer’s woad.

"There really isn’t any excuse for people to have weeds on their property because the county offers so much support," Marchant said. "We have some sprays that are even safe if animals ingest the grass after it is sprayed and some that are a lot stronger."

The county does not offer any natural weed sprays but Marchant said they try to balance their chemical use with other weed-prevention methods.

"Some of the chemicals we use are hazardous and we always tell people to read the directions first to make sure the chemicals are used safely," he said.

For more information on Summit County’s weed program visit http://www.summitcounty.org/weed.