Beacon Citizen Network (BCN): a place for neighbors to get the word out, be heard and stay informed in all matters concerning Beacon, NY.



Like most Beaconites, I greatly appreciate the work that's been done at Long Dock and the surrounding park.

But does anyone know why the area is being treated with pesticides for the remainder of October? (According to the warning signs along the walkways, it's being treated until 10/29.)

Is there really a serious pest problem there? I'd hate to see that once-wild area -- former home to red foxes, deer and other wildlife -- turn completely into a toxic suburban golf course.

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Comment by Philomena on October 17, 2012 at 2:52pm

I haven't seen the signs yet, but pesticides can also include any organic product that kills the pest you want to get rid of. Does not automatically mean the product being used is environmentally toxic. I would second the idea that you contact Scenic Hudson. I have found them very responsive via email to questions.

Comment by Tim H on October 17, 2012 at 11:19am

I would venture to say they are making an application to an invasive weed and they have exhausted all other cultural practices to rid it.  So the last resort would be to apply pesticides...  

Comment by Ben Royce on October 17, 2012 at 11:12am


I think that society's attitudes are changing. And if you are in the industry I think you will find increasing resistance as the years pass. Example:

It used to be OK to smoke at work once too. We now, rightly, consider it odious to create smoke in someone's face who doesn't want to smell that or be exposed to that for health concerns. And you can also say that a few puffs of smoke in your face are harmless for your health too. And you can find studies saying the health effects are negligible. None of which says forcing the guy at the next desk to smell your smoke is going to come back into vogue. Society changes. 

We have indeed come a long way since Rachel Carson and Silent Spring in terms of the safety of the chemicals we use. But I think society is waking up and saying that these chemicals, no matter how much safer nowadays, is still an unnecessary exposure. If you are in the industry, you should take note of the changing attitudes.

And as for golf aficionados and golf courses, I'll put out this bit of wild speculation: it's often vogue to get more at the historical root of your sport. Running barefoot. Hunting with bow and arrow rather than gun. Well, maybe now is the time to go au naturel on our golf courses too, just like the mottled, motley Scottish highlands on which the sport was born. If you hear of such a trend on the future, remember where you heard the crazy idea first! ;-)

Comment by XXX on October 17, 2012 at 8:41am

OK, thanks, Tim. But golf courses have nothing to do with my original question: Why is Long Dock being sprayed with pesticides?

Comment by Tim H on October 16, 2012 at 1:51pm


I am in the industry and at my current golf course which is privately owned, our ground and surface water is tested four times (by an independent lab for the town) in season with a zero detection ever of pesticides or nutrients.  We use only modern or newly formed chemistries for our pesticides not the dinosaurs mentioned in your dated sources.  These pesticides are pretested by a University before approval for the town so there is no environmental impact with our type of soil structure and environment.  IPM is practiced at the course and we only use pesticides only as a last resort.

The course I maintain is Audubon Society sanctioned with a New York class A stream that splits the golf course in half, that is a major drinking source for a town here in the Hudson Valley.  We are tested up and down stream of the course the down stream test results always have a decreased  test number for nitrites, nitrates, phosphorus, fecal, pesticides, etc...  due to the golf course acting as a filter.   The course holds abundant wildlife... wood turtles (threatened), box turtle (threatened), salamanders (environmentally sensitive), osprey, red tail hawks, fox, ducks, trout (environmentally sensitive), song birds, and many more.  We have acres of native grass, wildflowers, woodlands and wetlands that create prime habitat for the wildlife.

I am not here to sway you on pesticide use but I would like to open your eyes to golf courses. So when the term "toxic suburban golf course" is used please remember the modern golf course is among us.


Comment by XXX on October 16, 2012 at 8:49am

Tim: Pesticides are toxins, whether used on a golf course, a home or a public park. If you need a source for that, consider the following:

"Of the 30 most commonly used turf pesticides, 19 can cause cancer, 13 are linked to birth defects, 21 can affect reproduction and 15 are nervous system toxicants. The most popular and widely used lawn chemical, 2,4-D, which kills broad leaf weeds like dandelions, is an endocrine disruptor with predicted human health hazards ranging from changes in estrogen and testosterone levels, thyroid problems, prostate cancer and reproductive abnormalities."

Comment by Tim H on October 15, 2012 at 6:01pm

How about you call Scenic Hudson and ask for the facts before raising the red flags.  If golf courses are toxic please site your source...

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