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The general public, federal, state and local governmental agencies, and environmental groups have expressed a growing interest in the pest management practices used in K-12 schools in the state of Minnesota.
The Parent's Right To Know Act was introduced and passed in the 2000 Minnesota Legislature and includes recommendations for the use of integrated pest management (IPM) in schools (see Developing an IPM Policy Statement for Your School).
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the University of Minnesota, because of the interest being expressed concerning IPM in K-12 schools, jointly established a voluntary IPM in K-12 Schools Working Group. The Working Group includes representatives with expertise in health, pollution prevention and/or pest and pesticide management issues in K-12 schools. Representatives are from: the MDA; the University of Minnesota Extension Service; Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance; Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning; the Minnesota Department of Health; and the St. Paul Public Schools. Group members agree that there is a need to bring awareness to and work with pest control operators, school administrators, school health and safety staff, facility managers, maintenance staff, teachers, students, parents, school boards, and the general public regarding IPM. The Working Group also concluded that the three factors limiting implementation - time, available personnel, and money - must always be key considerations when developing and implementing any IPM program.
The Working Group decided that a survey of pest management practices in Minnesota public and private K-12 schools was a good starting place to help identify current pest management practices because there was limited data on pest management practices in Minnesota K-12 schools. The MDA, with support of the Working Group, sought and was awarded funding in 1999 for the survey from the U.S. EPA, Region 5, Chicago, Illinois. The MDA took the initiative pursuant to its statutory authority contained in Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 17.114, Subd. 4, which states: "The state shall promote and facilitate the use of integrated pest management through education, technical or financial assistance, information and research."
In 2000, the MDA received additional funding from the U.S. EPA to develop IPM fact sheets and a pilot half day IPM Training Workshop for school maintenance and health and safety personnel. In 2001, the MDA received funding provided from the Minnesota Future Resources Fund as recommended by the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources to further refine its IPM training curriculum and develop a day long IPM Training Workshop for school maintenance and health and safety personnel and additional IPM Fact Sheets.
A fact sheet - "Cockroaches in Your Home" (PDF: 37 KB / 2 pages) is also available.
Four IPM in Minnesota Schools PowerPoint presentations have been created for use by school personnel. You can view the following:
"Join Our Pest Patrol - A Backyard Activity Book for Kids - An Adventure in IPM". The book and companion Teacher Guide are for use by third and fourth grade teachers. It includes many fun activities and was written using Minnesota Graduation Standards. This was a collaborative effort of MDA's Ag Marketing & Development, Pesticide & Fertilizer Management and Plant Protection Divisions and was jointly funded by the US EPA and the MDA.
Pest Patrol Action Kit!
This kit provides hand-on activities for simple inquiries and experiments for your classroom and schoolyard. You'll find tools for successful IPM learning adventures.
Ag Marketing & Development Division
Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), 625 Robert Street N, St. Paul, MN 55155-2538, firstname.lastname@example.org