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Ward 1 News: Dandelion Concerns

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Dandelion in Parks

The broadleaf weed control operation is conducted by The City of Calgary’s Parks Department. Only a select number of park properties are treated per season. The work is conducted based on an assessment of the number of weeds per square metre. When weeds are in excess of the set threshold, the site is placed on a list for treatment for future seasons.

In a rare situation, Parks may treat a site in that same year, however, they need to predetermine which sites will be treated in order to effectively and efficiently utilize resources. Parks does conduct weed control operations on an ongoing basis. Unfortunately, Parks does not have the resources to treat each park site yearly. Some parks may not receive weed control for several years.

Dandelion Removal Request for City Property

If you would like to request dandelion removal on city property, please contact 311 and provide the following information:

• Location of the park site. Include the intersection of street and avenue or any other description to help The City staff locate the site.
• Full description of what you would like The City staff to do in response. For example, “cut the grass and kill weeds” will help Parks staff understand a root cause and action.
• Day time call back number so that Parks staff can contact a citizen in case of clarification and/or follow up.

Dandelions on City Property

The City has not generally applied pest management products for cosmetic or beautification purposes on municipally-owned land since 1998, when the IPM Plan was approved by council. In response to public concerns about pesticide use, The City only uses pesticides when pre-defined weed density thresholds are met and infestation threaten the long term health of landscape. Herbicide applications will occur in Varsity during week of June 2, 2014.

Pesticide and Herbicide Spraying

If weeds are above threshold levels, herbicide applications may be necessary for reasons of health, safety and asset protection. The City takes the health and well-being of citizens and green spaces seriously, so all herbicides and pesticides are carefully chosen to be the least toxic to off-target plants and animals. Furthermore, all pesticides and herbicides are certified by both the federal and provincial governments. Notification and application signs will be posted in the community before, during and after any applications.

Pest Threshold Levels

The City conducts assessments on all park sites once every three years to determine the level of broadleaf weed infestation. Based on the thresholds for turf damage, the site may receive herbicide applications to prevent further damage and improve the overall health of the turf. Please call 311 with any spraying concerns or for more information.


Herbicide applications are not administered within 30 metres of a playground unless the entire area is closed to the public and school sites do not receive applications while students are in attendance.

Dandelions on Private Property

The City’s Community Standards Bylaw (p. 23, Part II-Weeds and Grass), residents can face fines if they do not keep weed populations that are over 15 cm or 6 inches under control on their property. If certain weeds are growing and if it lacks maintenance on the property has created a fire hazard.

Tips for Controlling Dandelion

• Pull out broadleaf weeds out by their roots, before they turn white and go to seed.
• Keep grass three inches long so it shades its own roots from the sun, chocks out pesky weeds and holds moisture better, reducing water needs.

This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.

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