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austin weed and seed program

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Weed and Seed program was developed to demonstrate an innovative and comprehensive approach to law enforcement and community revitalization, and to prevent and control violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in target areas. The program, initiated in 1991, attempts to weed out violent crime, gang activity, and drug use and trafficking in target areas, and then seed the target area by restoring the neighborhood through social and economic revitalization. Weed and Seed has three objectives: (1) develop a comprehensive, multiagency strategy to control and prevent violent crime, drug trafficking, and drug-related crime in target neighborhoods; (2) coordinate and integrate existing and new initiatives to concentrate resources and maximize their impact on reducing and preventing violent crime, drug trafficking, and gang activity; and (3) mobilize community residents in the target areas to assist law enforcement in identifying and removing violent offenders and drug traffickers from the community and to assist other human service agencies in identifying and responding to service needs of the target area. To achieve these goals, Weed and Seed integrates law enforcement, community policing, prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood restoration efforts. The Weed and Seed program is being implemented in more than 150 communities across the country.

National Weed and Seed Program — U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Weed and Seed

The Executive Office for Weed and Seed (EOWS) within the Office of Justice Programs is responsible for overall program policy, coordination, and development. EOWS also serves to enhance the law enforcement and prosecution coordination among Federal, State, and local agencies, and coordinates with other cooperating programs and agencies such as Ameri-Corps, Empowerment Zones/Enterprise Communities, and the Comprehensive Communities Program.

As part of the upcoming fiscal year budget, the Weed & Seed program had ended. Funding for new Weed & Seed sites will no longer be available. However, these types of programs may still be available through the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program (BCJI). This initiative was not funded in the FY 2011 final continuing resolution. However, BCJI was included in the President’s proposed FY2012 budget and is pending before Congress. For questions about this source of grant funding please consult the Weed & Seed website FAQ section.

Weed and Seed is a Department of Justice community-based program whose goal is to prevent, control and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in targeted high-crime neighborhoods throughout the country. Weed and Seed strategy follows a two-pronged approach: local law enforcement agencies and prosecutors cooperate in “weeding” out criminals who engage in violent crimes and drug abuse, and “seeding” brings to the area human services encompassing prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood revitalization. A community-oriented policing component bridges weeding and seeding strategies: officers obtain cooperation and information from area residents while they assist residents in obtaining information about community revitalization and resources.

Within the Northern District of California there have been a number of designated Weed and Seed sites over the past 15 years. In the past several years there have been the following designations: Salinas, East Oakland, San Francisco and two in San Jose. West Oakland has been a graduated site for several years. Each of the sites has unique characteristics which create special challenges. At each site, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has played an important role in working with the steering committee and in bringing together the participants on both the “weeding” and “seeding” sides of the program. Most of the programs have run their individual five year program funding cycles, but continue to meet and work on Weed and Seed issues in the community.

A variety of funding opportunities for law enforcement and other programs are listed on the Office of Justice Programs website.

Unfortunately, those pernicious invaders we think of as weeds seem to be more tenacious and resilient than our desirable garden plants. The best way to manage weeds is to avoid bare soil in the garden and landscape. Mulch is a great first line of defense in preventing weed seeds from getting a start. Dense turf is its own best weed deterrent while thin turf areas are prone to ongoing weed problems. You can find out more about compost and mulch in the soils section.

Before purchasing or applying weed control products, contact the Extension Office or a nursery professional to discuss the best approach for your particular weed problem. Factors such as weed species, surrounding plant material, temperature and time of year all should be considered before purchasing and applying any product.

There are a number of herbicide products on the market for managing weeds. However, do not depend on herbicides to continually rescue weed problems brought on by bad management. Use herbicides as a targeted spot treatment and avoid the negative effects on desirable landscape plants and the environment.

Limit weed problems organically the old fashioned way by hand pulling or hoeing. Often the combination of mulch, dense turf or ground cover and some hand removal is enough to maintain acceptable weed control in the landscape and garden without resorting to sprays.

Weed control products may be synthetic or natural. Some known as pre-emergence products work to prevent weed seeds from growing. Others, known as post-emergence products, kill weeds after they are already growing. Certain products control grassy weeds, others control broad leaf weeds and still others control both.