Urban Pesticide Reduction Program


Between 74-90% of U.S. households utilize pesticides on an annual basis (Whitmore et al. 1994; Landrigran et al. 1999, Fishel 2007).  However, only 46% of Oregon households surveyed reported using pesticides in 2007 (PURS 2008).  This figure is likely an underestimate of residential pesticide use in Oregon, as a primary conclusion of the PURS report (2007) was that survey participants had difficulty indentifying pesticide products and reading pesticide labels.

In a recent survey of households in the Portland metropolitan area, even fewer households reported using lawn and garden chemicals (29%) or indoor pest control products (17%) (Peters et al. 2007).  However, the questions used to query household respondents in this survey omitted (e.g. flea collars, Frontline) or did not adequately identify (e.g. Roundup, Weed and Feed) commonly used pesticides by names that would be familiar to most consumers.  Thus, it is once again likely that households underreported their use of chemical pesticides.

Surveys and interviews of homeowners, regarding residential pesticide use, have found that pesticide use is generally underreported, and risk perception is generally underestimated (Nieuwenhuijse et al. 2005).  This suggests that homeowners lack basic knowledge to accurately and honestly assess their own pesticide use.  This lack of knowledge impedes education about and adoption of an integrated approach to pest management.

Before IPM and reduced risk approaches to pest management can be effectively adopted by the general public, it is first imperative that households are able to accurately identify their current use and risk of pesticides in the home, garden and lawn. The Urban Pesticide Reduction Program (UPRP) connects specially trained Master Gardener volunteers with neighbors in their community to teach three one hour classes focused on reducing pesticide use in the Portland metropolitan region.

Portland Metro Master Gardeners

Master Gardeners in the Portland Metropolitan Counties (e.g Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah Counties) are invited to any one of a series of training sessions, which will enable them to teach the UPRP in their community.  This is a great opportunity for Master Gardeners to earn 6 hours of recertification credits and 6 volunteer service hours by delivering an educational program in their own neighborhood.

Master Gardeners must complete a total of three (3) two hour classes to teach the UPRP in their neighborhood.

Together, these training classes will cover the following topics:

  • General Overview of the Urban Pesticide Reduction Program
  • Working with Community and Neighbor Groups to Teach the UPRP
  • Principles of Good Teaching
  • What Is a Pesticide?
  • What are the Risks of Pesticide Use to Environmental and Family Health?
  • How to Encourage Honest and Accurate Assessments of Pesticide Use
  • Leading Class Members through a Pesticide Self-Audit
  • Why is it Important to Understand and Properly Interpret a Pesticide Label?
  • Reading a Pesticide Label
  • Pesticide Risks, Hazards and Toxicity
  • Preventative rather than Reactive Pest Control
  • A Least-Toxic Approach to Pest Control
  • Alternatives to Pesticides in the Home and Garden

Training Dates and Locations

Portland,  May 18, 19, 20 at the Metro Building, 600 NE Grand Avenue, Portland
*Choose the early OR the later session
Early Session:  2:30pm-4:30pm, or
Late Session:  4:30pm-6:30pm

Portland, May 23, Location TBA
*Must Attend ALL three sessions
Class 1:  9:00am-11:00am
Class 2:  11:30am-1:30pm
Class 3:  2:00pm-4:00pm

Beaverton,  May 27, 28, 29 at the Capital Center, 18640 NW Walker Rd. #1400, Beaverton
*Choose the early OR the later session
Early Session:  2:30pm-4:30pm, or
Late Session:  4:30pm-6:30pm

For more information on the UPRP, please contact:Monica Maggio, Project Coordinator, Urban Pesticide Reduction Program, OSU Master Gardener Program, 541-224-2864

Share this