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Peterson Space Observer

No ill wind for Peterson; base gets new pest control tool

Joe White, Embassy Lawn and Landscaping Inc. pest controller, measures the wind speed near the Federal Aviation Administration control tower July 1. The landscaping company purchased three Speed Tech Skymate SM-8 Windmeters that measure wind speed, to prevent herbicides from drifting and possibly harming personnel and vegetation. Staff will not spray herbicides when the wind speed is more than 7 mph. (Air Force photo by Thea Skinner)

Joe White, Embassy Lawn and Landscaping Inc. pest controller, measures the wind speed near the Federal Aviation Administration control tower July 1. The landscaping company purchased three Speed Tech Skymate SM-8 Windmeters that measure wind speed, to prevent herbicides from drifting and possibly harming personnel and vegetation. Staff will not spray herbicides when the wind speed is more than 7 mph. (Air Force photo by Thea Skinner)

by Thea Skinner

21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer

The base landscaping company got a new tool in its toolbox to help protect vegetation.

In early 2009, Embassy Lawn and Landscaping Inc. purchased three devices that measure wind speed to prevent herbicides from drifting, and possibly harming, vegetation or personnel.

The Speed Tech Skymate SM-8 Windmeter is a hand-held device that uses a wind-blown spin dial, said Staff Sgt. Michael Holmes, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron operations pest manager. The device operates on the same principal as a weather barometer on a building.

Sergeant Holmes identified the device as a best practice amongst staff adhering to federal, state and Air Force environmental guidelines. The wind meters were funded through the landscaping company.

The staff possibly set the standard for rewriting the contract to benefit Peterson Air Force Base and the landscaping company, he said.

Staff will not spray when sustained winds reach 7 mph, said Joe White, Embassy Lawn and Landscaping Inc. pest controller. The proactive measure protects vegetation and personnel, especially those with allergies, pregnant women, and women that are nursing.

“It stays so windy around here, you have to stay on top of it,” Sergeant Holmes said.

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