First, we got some good coverage in 2017 (as in 2016) in the Daily Local News. See “Area teens find organic solution for killing weeds in sidewalks,” 7/17/17, and “‘Don’t Spray Me!’ holds rally in West Chester,” 8/28/17.
Our 5-page report can be downloaded here: DSM report 2017 12-3-17. It includes the following topics:
Spraying, larviciding, and storm drains
West Chester got through another summer with no Chester County Health Department spraying, but East Bradford, Downingtown, Birmingham, Thornbury, and Spring City were not so fortunate. It was a difficult summer with heat and lots of rain and in some areas residents reported more mosquitoes than in 2016.
We would like to emphasize preventive measures and are pressing for more thorough-going inspection, repair, and larviciding of storm drains wherever they exist. We believe that storm drains and sluggish natural water in dry weather are now the main sources of mosquitoes here. We plan to continue to emphasize the Block Captain model in West Chester.
East Bradford report
Lots of progress coming from the town’s Environmental Advisory Council and municipal staff; and residents and homeowner associations started to be more active.
Other accomplishments and victories in 2017
– a March for the Environment, following speakers in the center of West Chester, with 250 people
– an experiment in which our “Sierra Club Youth Corps” of high school students showed that a non-toxic solution is effective in fighting weeds in brick sidewalks
– two celebratory community picnics in May and in September, with other local groups
– an environmental film series at West Chester University in the fall, emphasizing toxic chemicals
Goals for 2018
Work with municipalities and the County on community education.
Emphasize larviciding, the most effective form of mosquito control.
Understand better the Vector Index used as a guide to spraying by the County and work toward raised thresholds.
Institute an “Adopt a Storm Drain” program.
Start up new DSM chapters.
A new model of yard signs.
Programs: Jan. 21 environmental justice film, Feb. 25 panel on environmental and climate change, Earth Day gathering and march on Sunday April 22, summer community event, May and Sept. celebrations in Everhart Park, Green Lawns event in fall.
A summer intern helping implement outreach, mosquito control, and larviciding goals.