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March 9, 2012 / jenstden

Rose garden volunteers want exemption from pesticide ban

Volunteer gardeners want Coquitlam's Centennial Rose Garden to be temporarily exempted from a new pesticide ban

Rose garden volunteers asked for an exemption from the Coquitlam’s new ban on cosmetic pesticides at the Coquitam city council meeting on March 5.

Bev Walsh, chair of the Fraser Pacific Rose Society, said the exemption would prevent the roses from dying while the society works with the parks department to replace the roses with disease-resistant varieties.

“We want to get away from spraying toxic things on plants,” said Walsh, adding that apart from the once-a-year spraying to prevent a fungus that can kill the roses, rose garden volunteers only use organic gardening methods.

Coun. Mae Reid said she had heard concerns from other Coquitlam residents who need to use cosmetic pesticide once a year on their plants.

Coun. Selena Robinson, who pushed to get cosmetic pesticides banned, said she would support a temporary exemption for the Centennial Rose Garden, but not for other residents, calling the rose garden a “specific case.”

Council has asked city hall staff for a report on exempting the rose garden from the ban.

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