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Providence to get more aggressive about reducing pesticides

Here’s what Mayor Jorge Elorza is recommending

Providence, R.I., Mayor Jorge Elorza
Providence, R.I., Mayor Jorge ElorzaManuel Balce Ceneta

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Happy Thursday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and yes, it is definitely still acceptable to go to Mr. Lemon when temperatures are in the 40s. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 145,647 confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, after adding 296 new cases. The most-recent overall daily test-positive rate was 1.6 percent, and the first-time positive rate was 18.2 percent. The state announced four more deaths, bringing the total to 2,658. There were 153 people in the hospital, and 336,913 residents were fully vaccinated. Happy Earth Day.


Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is set to release a new report Thursday that will outline a series of recommendations for the city to eliminate nearly all pesticides and herbicides in parks and playgrounds.

Elorza will also kick off a public awareness campaign called Pesticide Free PVD that will encourage residents to reduce the use of potentially harmful chemicals in their gardens.

You can read the full report here, and below is a quick look at the recommendations.

1. New standards for Triggs golf course

The report goes out of its way to note that Trigg’s golf course, which is owned by the city, is not required to adhere to the same chemical standards as other city-owned parks. But the report suggests that future lease agreements with the operator of the course should include language that requires limits on pesticides.

2. Minimize chemicals used in ponds

The city acknowledges that the ponds in Roger Williams Park are routinely treated with herbicides that make the water unsafe for humans and wildlife. The report recommends non-chemical options for controlling algae and aquatic weeds.


3. Reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers on private property

The report suggests that a public awareness campaign would help private property owners understand the dangers of synthetic fertilizers. It also notes that New Jersey has a law that restricts the time of year that residents can apply fertilizer containing nitrogen and phosphorous.

4. Safe play spaces

The city’s parks department already sources equipment from companies that value environmentally friendly and safe materials and practices, and the report recommends that other departments that offer outdoor programming should do the same.

5. Improve community outreach

The report recommends that the city make a better effort to remind residents of the environmentally safe work it is doing, and to encourage property owners to follow suit.


⚓ Rhode Island is preparing to bring back the requirement that you have to look for work and be available and able to do it while you’re collecting unemployment. Read more.

⚓ In Providence, somber memorials mark the 40th annual National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Read more.

⚓ With coronavirus variants on the rise in Rhode Island, the state health department was awarded nearly $1.5 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to expand COVID-19 genomic sequencing and identify mutations in SARS-CoV-2. Read more.

⚓ About 3,000 chickens were killed on Baffoni’s Poultry Farm early Wednesday when a fire swept through, destroying half of a chicken coop. Read more.

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Health I: It’s rare and expected, but roughly 6,000 unlucky people in the United States who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 have been diagnosed with what epidemiologists call “breakthrough cases.” Read more.

Health II: The CDC has issued recommendations and experts are weighing in on what you can do right after you’ve had a COVID-19 shot. Read more.

Environment: Individually, we may not be able to save the polar bears or stop the fires and hurricanes, but there are some simple ways we can step up our personal responsibility toward environmental sustainability. Read more.

Politics: Proponents of statehood for Washington, D.C. face a milestone moment in their decades-long movement to reshape the American political map. Read more.


Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

⚓ BIRTHDAYS: Rhode Map readers, if you want a friend or family member to be recognized on Friday, send me an e-mail with their first and last name, and their age. If you want a shout out on the new Globe Rhode Island Facebook page, send along their Facebook handle as well.

⚓ Governor Dan McKee will hold his weekly COVID-19 press conference at 1 p.m.

⚓ Governor McKee and First Lady Susan McKee are scheduled to participate in an Earth Day cleanup event in Warwick at 2:30 p.m.

⚓ The University of Rhode Island Board of Trustees begin two days of public meetings at 9 a.m. 

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Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.