The Don't Spray Me campaign has made great strides in educating residents about reducing both mosquito populations and pesticide spraying.
By eliminating standing water on our properties, we deprive mosquitoes of their favorite breeding grounds and therefore make it less likely that neighbors of government entities will spray unwanted pesticides that harm bees, dragonflies, some other species, pets, small children, and other individuals hypersensitive to toxic chemicals.
Adopt A Drain
This 2018 project, Adopt A Drain, was organized by geologist Rachel Davis. Thanks to a generous Sierra Club Grassroots Network grant, we were able to hire West Chester University graduate student Kyle Erisman to be part of the field surveys and particularly to produce GIS mapping of storm drains in the Borough (below: map sample showing drains, streams, and other features).
Participants, under careful guidelines, walked selected streets to locate storm drains, clear above-ground blockage (including environmentally damaging plastic bags), peered through the street grills, and reported to the Borough Department of Public Works whether drains needed attention as being clogged below ground or containing potentially mosquito-breeding stagnant water.
In 2019, we plan to continue this project by organizing citizens to patrol storm drains in their neighborhoods and report drainage problems to the West Chester Borough.
Alternative To Using RoundUp
In SCYC’s 2017 project, organized by Margaret and Jim Hudgings, a group of high school students (photo below: receiving awards for their work) experimented on neighborhood sidewalks to show that a non-toxic solution is effective in fighting weeds in brick sidewalks.
This anti-Roundup weed-killing formula consists of:
1 gallon distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup table salt
1/2 teaspoon liquid dish soap
How to do it: Pour a small amount of vinegar into your, then pour the salt into the jug of vinegar and shake it vigorously. Pour the salted vinegar into the sprayer and add the liquid dish soap. Swirl the sprayer to mix in the soap, but not so much as to generate suds. Spray it on the target weeds, ideally in the morning of a very sunny day. When finished, spray plain water for a few seconds to clean the wand.