Residents of Ward 1 have provided my office with feedback regarding the recent proliferation of dandelions. Some residents wanted The City to control the dandelions in situations where the growth was unmanageable. Other residents did not want The City to use pesticides to spray dandelions.
I do not agree with spraying for all areas affected by dandelions. City administration has informed Council that it is impossible to prevent dandelions from growing in Calgary. Thus, I think it is appropriate to look at other options to seek solutions for areas where dandelion growth is unmanageable. Several councillors and I have asked that City Administration provide us with alternative solutions other than spraying to address excessive weed situations on city properties.
In June, Council approved a proposal calling for a report on effective dandelion control for the entire City, including budgetary implications. The report will return to Council through the Standing Policy Committee on Community Services and Protective Services in October. After I receive and analyze the report, I will provide residents with an update via my official website and monthly newsletter.
Dandelions are no longer considered a noxious weed under the Weed Control Act. Bylaw officers may only issue a warning to property owners if the dandelions are over 15 cm. (6 in.) in height.
Current weed control guidelines state there are four threshold levels, depending on where the weed is located. Each site is assessed individually and often a combination of control measures is used. The City has 76 invasive, noxious weeds that must be controlled or eradicated to comply with provincial legislation. The City takes a holistic approach to managing broadleaf weeds, including dandelions, and there are various control methods (including biological and chemical). Treatment is based on threshold levels outlined in the Council approved Integrated Pest Management Plan.
The City does not use herbicides for cosmetic purposes. Council has an approved weed density threshold, and once that threshold is reached, The City applies herbicides. The City determines treatment on threshold levels outlined in the Council approved Integrated Pest Management Plan. The City also routinely monitors weed threshold levels and if the threshold is reached, treatment options are assessed on a case-by-case basis. All our herbicides are approved by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, which falls under Health Canada.
If you see a potential safety hazard, for example, when dandelions overrun fields in which are used for recreational sports, please contact 311.
Weed Related Bylaw Information
Report a Weed Infraction
Pesticide and Herbicide Spraying
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.