Fort Drum Child, Youth and School Services
Fort Drum, TX
IPM STAR Certified 2011-2013
October 6 , 2011
U.S. Army Fort Drum Child, Youth and School Services (CYSS) has earned IPM STAR certification after passing a rigorous, third party, 37 point inspection. IPM STAR evaluates school systems and childcare centers for Integrated Pest Management, or IPM. IPM is a common sense approach to solving pest problems. By fixing conditions that encourage pests, issues can often be resolved without resorting to potentially hazardous pesticides.
Founded in 1986, Fort Drum’s CYSS program has one school-age facility, one youth center, seven child development centers and several more facilities that are in planning and development. CYSS provides child care services, before and after school care, recreation, sports, family child care, instructional classes and school liaison services. As many as 9000 children are part of the Fort Drum Child, Youth and School Services in a given year.
The Fort Drum Child, Youth and School Services’ IPM program began in 2000 to ensure a safe and healthy environment for military families. Using IPM practices to manage pests, the program reduces the amount of toxic pesticides its students and staff are exposed to.
Heading Fort Drum’s IPM program is Larry LeRoy, who has been Fort Drum’s IPM coordinator since 2007. LeRoy oversees the fort’s 103,000 acres and 18 million square feet of facilities. He believes the least-toxic approach to pest management is vital to protecting the health of the fort’s 18,000 plus soldiers and 2000 civilian workers.
“Fort Drum faces some major pest management challenges due to its size and proximity to wildlife,” according to Dr. Thomas Green, entomologist and director of the IPM Institute. Keeping wandering wildlife out of inhabited areas of the fort has been a big challenge. “Spring time seems the busiest time for us as the wildlife population explodes here with young being born,” says LeRoy.
Raccoons are a particular nuisance. “They tend to find their way into the dumpsters and we are constantly getting calls to pull them out before the trash trucks empty them,” says LeRoy. Using IPM methods, LeRoy discourages scavenging pests by ensuring dumpster lids are closed and locked, as well as using live traps to relocate them to nearby wildlife rehabilitation centers.
IPM STAR Certification is presented by the IPM Institute of North America in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program. It is the nation’s most exclusive honor for excellence in managing pests in educational and childcare facilities.
– Prepared as part of the IPM STAR Certification process by the IPM Institute of North America for posting on its website with permission from Fort Drum CYSS.