I had the opportunity to ride my bicycle through Bol Park last week and was horrified to see the parched ground in the area between the official park and the High School. After researching the reason for this, I found an article in the Palo Alto Weekly that revealed the land had been intentionally poisoned by a contractor hired by Gunn High School or the Palo Alto Unified School District.
I find this fact hard to accept for several reasons: First, the appearance is terrible. It looks like a war zone. Secondly, children, their parents and their pets have traditionally used this hilly field area for recreation. I have ridden by and seen goats grazing in this area, a scene I have cherished and consequently applauded Palo Alto for allowing. Third, The Mid-Peninsula has become a leader in today's environmental movement, thanks in part, to a progressive City Council, an educated population and several dedicated community groups, such as ACTERRA, Canopy, Committee For Green Foothills, The Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter, Hidden Villa, POST, Mid Peninsula Open Space, Friends of Bayfront Park, just to name a few.
While so many of us are heeding the warnings of Vice President Al Gore by driving less, purchasing solar panels to off-set our electricity use, buying fruits and vegetables grown locally and using only biodegradable laundry and gardening products, I find it callous that Gunn High School would commit such a transgression. Where better place than a school to teach our children that we cannot treat the earth as though it is disposable but, instead find a wiser and gentle method to control weeds.
I urge the Board to conduct a study as to what methods are being used to eradicate, control or live with weeds are used by all the schools under your supervision.