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EAB Discusses Organic Pest Control, Gardening Methods

Adelphi University director of grounds and facilities Robert Conaghan speaks at Wednesday's Environmental Advisory Board meeting.

Adelphi University director of grounds and facilities Robert Conaghan (right) joined Garden City's Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) Wednesday to lead a discussion on organic gardening and pest control. (Credit: Nicole Murphy)
Adelphi University director of grounds and facilities Robert Conaghan (right) joined Garden City's Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) Wednesday to lead a discussion on organic gardening and pest control. (Credit: Nicole Murphy)
Adelphi University director of grounds and facilities Robert Conaghan joined Garden City's Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) Wednesday to lead a discussion on organic gardening and pest control.

Conaghan, an employee of the Garden City university for three decades, transitioned into organic practices in 2002 as he learned more about the harm pesticides and fertilizers could cause.

"Organics to me, is a smarter approach," said Conaghan, a Smithtown resident. "When I think about all the chemicals that were being put down on campus, over a ton of pesticides each year, it's just a better choice."

According to Conaghan, organic methods, such as the use of ladybugs, are much more affordable and insects are less likely to grow resistant like they would to chemicals.

"The dousing of lawns with chemicals is really a sin, I don't believe in any poison at all," Conaghan said. "Over time, the insects become immune to these products and the companies have to make stronger chemicals. We're just making the problem worse."

EAB member Ben Mahler said he valued the information Conaghan had to share and hopes they can spread it through the village.

"The important thing is what we can do with this information," said Mahler. "How do we go about educating people on less intrusive methods? If it's safer and less expensive, wouldn't people want to learn more for their own self interest?"

The board decided they would gather research to present to local organizations, like the village's four property owners' associations, and reconvene on the topic next month.