Due to environmental and health concerns that were raised by residents, the Naperville, Illinois Park District will expand its use of organic weed controls and other products to maintain park grounds.

Park District Executive Director Ray McGury announced recently that for the next two years, eight of the district’s 137 parks will be treated with organic herbicides and similar plant and vegetation products. According to McGury, district officials will also continue with their policy of using only organic products on and in the immediate vicinities of playgrounds.

The decision follows a three-month review that included input from a local grassroots citizens group. In a board meeting, members expressed serious concerns over the use of Roundup weed killer and other potentially hazardous products.

According to Kevin Finnegan, the district’s director of parks, the new policies in place to use natural herbicides, fertilizers and other products are part of the future. “Officials fully expect that our plans will continue to evolve as more is learned, and as additional new, effective natural products come onto the market.”