The Goleta Union School District strives to provide a clean, safe, and well-maintained school environment for the children and the community of Goleta. Environmental protection is an important part of the school district’s mission for the stewardship of public resources. The Goleta Union School District was awarded the 12th annual Green Award in 2005 for its innovative practices in energy conservation, transportation, recycling and pesticide management.
Also in 2005 the Goleta School District received the Lady Bug award for environmental stewardship from the Santa Barbara Awareness and Alternatives Coalition. This group seeks to increase awareness of pesticides through the California Organic Festival. The Award of Excellence was presented to the school district for its position of leadership in removing pesticides from schools and searching for safe alternatives to pesticide use.
The Goleta Union School District adopted a pesticide free policy in 2006 that allows for the use of pesticides only in the case of an emergency. School board policy states “In the event of a grave threat to the health and safety of the school community where no other effective alternative to the use of pesticides exist, the Goleta Union Board of Trustees will be notified prior to any application of pesticides.”
The adoption of the school district’s pesticide free policy reflects a ten-year journey, which began in 1997 to explore the best, the safest, and the most effective use of pesticides on Goleta schools. Prior to the passage of the Healthy Schools Act of 2000 (Assembly Bill 2260) the Goleta School District had eliminated the use of most pesticides through the implementation of integrated pest management practices.
Integrated pest management (IPM) means a strategy that focuses on long-term prevention or suppression of pest problems through a combination of techniques such as monitoring for pest presence and establishing treatment threshold levels, using non-chemical practices to make the habitat less conducive to pest development, improving sanitation, and employing mechanical and physical controls. The Goleta Union School District has a Pesticide Free Policy that allows for the use of toxic pesticides only in the case of an emergency. The District strives to never use toxic pesticides and herbicides, and authorizes their use only in the rare event of a grave threat to the health and safety of the school community when effective alternatives are not available. Pesticides that pose the least possible hazard and are effective in a manner that minimizes risks to people, property, and the environment are used only after careful monitoring indicates they are needed according to pre-established guidelines and treatment thresholds. [Food and Agricultural Code 13181] Note: This definition applies only to IPM in schools.
To insure the effectiveness of district procedures in controlling pests, records are kept of all pest infestations along with the final resolution of the problem. Records of pesticide use prior to their elimination in 2007 are kept on file for the public.
|Weed Control||Mulch with hand pulling of weeds|
|Ants||Elimination of food sourcesBoric acid|
|Gophers||Trap and release elsewhere|
|Roaches/mice||Installation of bottom door sweepsElimination of food source|
|Bees||Trap and remove with beekeeper|
The school district has assigned the Director of Maintenance, Operations, and Transportation to carry out the requirements of the Healthy Schools Act, as the designated IPM coordinator for the district. Parents and staff receive annual written notification of the district’s pesticide free policy and the following directions: Information regarding pesticides may be obtained at the California Department of Pesticide Regulation or you may call the National Pesticide Telecommunications Network at 1-800-858-7378. This toll-free service is funded by EPA and operated by the Oregon State University. The service is available from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. EST Monday through Friday.
Other useful links provided by the Department of Pesticide Regulation:
- County of Santa Barbara IPM website
- California Department of Pesticide Regulation
- U.S. EPA Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Schools
- University of California Statewide IPM Program
- Rodent-Proof Construction and Exclusion Methods, Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management
- University of Wisconsin’s IPM Website