Colville School District
IPM STAR Certified 2012-2014
October 24, 2012
Colville School District has earned IPM STAR certification after passing a rigorous, 37-point inspection. IPM STAR evaluates school systems and childcare centers for Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, a common sense approach to solving pest problems with a minimum amount of pesticide use.
Colville School District (SD) implemented an IPM program to help create a healthy learning and working environment for students, staff and the Colville SD community, and to maintain legal compliance for notifications, posting and recordkeeping. According to Jeff Wolfe, facilities director for Colville SD, “The program we developed consolidates and properly stores records and product inventory and, as a result, it increases our effectiveness and accountability.”
Education has been a key component of the Colville SD IPM program. “We educated the district decision makers and staff about the specific definition of the term ‘pest’ and the often overlooked things it includes (e.g. plants as well as insects and rodents) and how an IPM program can benefit them and the community,” says Wolfe.
Children are more vulnerable to pesticides than adults. Pound for pound, they consume more air, water and food, and have more contact with walls and floors where pesticide residue may build up. At Colville SD, no pesticide applications are made when children are present and pesticide application notices are posted 48 hours in advance. Annual notification regarding the IPM policy is distributed through the newspaper, radio, email and the district website.
In compliance with Washington State pesticide laws, Colville SD annually summarizes pesticide use. “The annual summary report will help build a database to help project future district IPM needs and assist in developing a budget for future funding requests,” comments Wolfe.
The IPM program serves Colville SD’s 2000 students and 425 staff. The system includes three elementary schools, one middle school, one high school and eight athletic fields totaling 120 acres.
IPM STAR certification is presented by the IPM Institute of North America in partnership with the US Environmental Protection Agency Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program.