Rock Creek Park Superintendent Tara Morrison: STOP the Spraying of Toxic Chemicals in Rock Creek National Park
  • Petitioning Rock Creek Park Superintendent Tara Morrison

This petition will be delivered to:

Superintendent, Rock Creek Park
Rock Creek Park Superintendent Tara Morrison
Councilperson, Washington, DC
Mary Cheh
Councilperson, Washington, DC
Muriel Bowser
U.S. House of Representatives
Rep. Chris Van Hollen
District of Columbia-01
Rep. Eleanor Norton

Rock Creek Park Superintendent Tara Morrison: STOP the Spraying of Toxic Chemicals in Rock Creek National Park

    1. Petition by

      Safe Lawns for DC Kids and Critters

Spraying Glyphosate-based weed killer (same ingredient as Roundup) on 56 acres of a heavily-used trail network in Rock Creek Park will adversely impact children, dogs and pregnant women who use the Park. There are documented cases of dogs suffering vomiting, seizures, coma, and near-death after contact with these chemicals.

In addition, spraying within 25 feet of waterways violates DC's Pesticide Education and Revisions Act of 2012. This Act is intended to protect aquatic life and water quality in Rock Creek, the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers. We would appreciate if the National Park Service would respect's DC's environmental laws.

The proposed spray area is a wetland, immediately adjacent to the creek, and is a fragile ecosystem with amphibians and turtles which the Park is trying to protect.

Glyphosate-based herbicides are the number-one reported skin and eye irritants in California, the best data base we have for pesticide incident reporting. Spraying weed killers is a 1950's approach to a 2013 problem. Many other options exist compatible with the Park's budget to address invasive plants, including the extensive Weed Warrior volunteer programs.

Petition co-organized by Candy Cane Canines,

contact Julia Randall at:

Rock Creek Park Superintendent Tara Morrison, Superintendent, Rock Creek Park
Mary Cheh, Councilperson, Washington, DC
Muriel Bowser, Councilperson, Washington, DC
U.S. House of Representatives
Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Maryland-08
Rep. Eleanor Norton, District of Columbia-01
STOP the Spraying of Toxic Chemicals in Rock Creek National Park. Please end the herbicide spraying plan on 56 acres of heavily-used trail areas this spring. We ask you to eliminate spraying in 2014 and meet with Rock Creek Park users to discuss your progress in finding alternative fig buttercup control methods no later than the fall of 2013.

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Mike McGrath, WTOP Garden Editor Weighs In

      Herbicide sprayed on invasive Rock Creek Park plants raises concerns

      Darci Marchese, WASHINGTON - Those who've hiked through Rock Creek Park in D.C. this week may have seen signs warning that a herbicide is being sprayed on some invasive plants in the area. The spraying began March 4 and is expected to continue the rest of the week, weather permitting.

    2. Channel 7 coverage!

      Residents petition National Park Service to stop using chemical spray in Rock Creek Park

      Signs are up in Rock Creek Park near the D.C-Maryland boundary, warning people to stay away because the area is being treated with chemicals to control an invasive plant species. A group today delivered petitions, asking the National Park service to stop using a chemical treatment called Rodeo and consider an alternative way of controlling the plants.

    3. Spraying Documented by WJLA Rporter at Press Event !

      Watch the interviews on WJLA,com, Channel 7 in DC and also will be on News Channel 8. Great questions from Reporter Hatzel Vela. He said it was scheduled for 5:55 PM but who knows if the new Pope selection may shorten the time slot for local stories.

      Interesting: the Contractor's truck, Invasive Plant had no telephone number nor an number from the Maryland Department of Aagriculture, required for pesticide application and transport of pesticides in MD and DC. Violation! And another day passes when Tara Morrison does not make the call to us (she promised last week to call "at the start of the week" regarding our questions about environmental impact. More than than, supervisors have instructed Ranger Ken Ferebee not to return calls to me. A heck of a way to run a agency--a heck of a way to interface with the public. So much for the President's pledge of government openness.

    4. Rock Creek Park continues to spray toxic weed killer this week

      PRESS CONFERENCE 11 AM Contact: Alan Cohen 202-669-6363 email:
      WEDNESDAY MARCH 13 Rock Creek National Park
      Nature Center, 5200 Glover Road NW, Washington, DC

      Several organizations will have a press event Wednesday to deliver petitions to Rock Creek Park Superintendent Tara Morrison, regarding the spraying of Rodeo (Glyphosate-based herbicide, similar to Roundup) now occurring on 56 acres of heavily used trails in Rock Creek Park.

      We have asked Superintendent Morrison to halt the spraying, which has injured dogs in the past and can be a potent eye and skin sensitizer for children, adults and dogs using the parks. Please see our petition at (under Environment, Rock Creek Park).

      Speakers will include:
      Julia Randall, Candy Cane Canines
      Alan Cohen, Safe Lawns for DC Kids and Critters
      Kristina Catto, neighbor, park

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    5. Reached 100 signatures
    6. Gyphpsate Products facts from Epidemiologist Devra Davis

      Devra Davis TETON VILLAGE, WY

      (Note: Roundup is a Monsanto product, now off-patent, so other chemical companies are producing copycat products. The NPS is using Rodeo or Accord, similar in active and "inactive" surfactants as Roundup. AC)

      The manufacturer's label states that users should not inhale Roundup or allow contact with the skin or eyes. Coughing, nausea, difficulty breathing and headaches can be caused by Roundup inhalation. Direct contact with the skin or eyes can cause burning rashes, swelling, eczema, numbness, eye irritation and burns. Roundup will not wash completely out of clothing; contaminated clothing should be thrown away. Recently sprayed plants can cause illness or death if ingested by pets or livestock.

      Read more: Deleterious Effects of Roundup |

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    7. Reached 25 signatures
    8. Proposed spraying within 25 feet of waterways is now illegal in DC

      Rock Creek Park NPS has been referred to DDOE enforcement Assistant Attorney General, to the DDOE Pesticides Regulations Office and to Council members Cheh and Bowser.

    9. Reached 10 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Glenn Hurowitz WASHINGTON, DC
      • about 1 year ago

      While I appreciate the important work to remove invasive species from Rock Creek Park, it seems like mechanical means of controlling invasive species would be better - and there are many alternatives to toxic chemcials to help.

    • Melissa Huston WASHINGTON, DC
      • over 1 year ago

      I have a dog and I want to keep him healthy. Toxic chemicals have no place in a park.

    • Janet Sauser WASHINGTON, DC
      • over 1 year ago

      I object to all uses of herbicides, because they are carcinogenic. In addition in this particular location they pose a hazard to the Chesapeake Bay because of runoff into Rock Creek.

    • Berit Robertson WASHINGTON, DC
      • over 1 year ago

      It is toxic and will affect my health

      • over 1 year ago

      I'm all for removing invasive plants, but there has to be other ways besides toxic chemicals.


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