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Ward 6 News: August 2015 Newsletter

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Ward 6 official websiteDandelion Control & 3 1 1 Weeds/Long Grass Incidents

Along with eight other members of Council, I signed a Notice of Motion brought forward by Councillor Demong on June 16, 2015 urging Council that Administration report on effective dandelion control including financial ramifications and return to Council through the Standing Policy Committee on Community Services and Protective Services, no later than October 5, 2015. Council approved this proposal calling for a report on effective dandelion control for the entire City.
Whether you prefer to avoid sprayed green spaces or are wondering how The City manages pesky pests, like dandelions, visit, Integrated Pest Management Plan to understand the City approach to invasive pest populations. Our IPM Plan is one of the leading municipal IPM strategies in Canada focusing on prevention and environmentally sustainable practices. This plan promotes and practices a better understanding of the ecosystem and why pest problems occur.
Weed inspections are conducted in parks, playfields, and other public spaces. If weed density is above threshold levels, herbicide applications may be necessary for reasons of health, safety and asset protection.  Dandelions are not sprayed for cosmetic purposes; instead pre-determined thresholds indicate when weeds are impacting the health of the landscape and herbicide application may be necessary. In the case of boulevards along major roadways, mowing takes place during the growing season approximately once every month. Spraying for dandelions occurs once every five years. Specific dates and locations of pesticide and herbicide application can be found on The City’s dandelion page.
Calgary Parks is committed to a reduction in the use of pesticides, and has budgeted accordingly.  This, combined with the stringent laws and policies surrounding the application of pesticides, has resulted in the ability to treat every green space on an 8 to 12 year cycle.  The length of time between treatments for sports field turf is on a 2 to 3 year cycle to maintain safety and playability of these sites.  Play fields are maintained at different levels across the city depending on use and condition of the field. Some fields have over 1000 hours booked during sports season and require extra maintenance. Due to hi-use, the turf on these fields is often thin and unhealthy resulting in an over abundance of weeds. Although not all fields in bad condition are treated, The City prioritizes treated areas and coordinates treatments with other maintenance practices such as aerating and fertilizing. Creating a healthy stand of turf is the best way to fight weeds.
Some communities associations have indicated their desire to have the health of all City of Calgary turf in their community maintained to a higher level through a tax levy.  These tax levy communities often request assessment of turf and receive herbicide treatments on sites above threshold on an annual basis.
As part of the ongoing commitment to managing pests, an Invasive Plant Strategic Management Plan is being implemented. Some primary components of this science-based plan are:
Early Detection / Rapid Response (EDRR): Invasive plants new to the Calgary area are sought out and destroyed. By preventing widespread establishment of invasive species, our city ecosystems and landscapes are preserved.
Applied Research and Development: New and improved strategies for invasive plant suppression and management are evaluated.
•Inventory and Monitoring: GIS maps are generated by Parks staff to identify the location and extent of weed infestations to help in strategic management of invasive plant threats.
•Prevention: Landscape redesign and reclamation activities are undertaken with the aim of preventing the establishment of weedy invaders.
•Community Outreach: Residents are encouraged to prevent and manage invasive plants in their own backyard through various public awareness initiatives (e.g. YardSmart).
•Integrated Weed Management: A combination of invasive plant control methods are employed to eliminate priority weed threats to Calgary's environment, economy and well-being. These tools include biological, mechanical, chemical and cultural controls.
What can you do?
Report problem areas to 311 before they get out of control; maintain your green space to prevent invasive plants from spreading and plant non-invasive species. For more information on invasive plant types, to report a weeds infraction or learn about bylaws pertaining to weed control, visit, Bylaws related to weeds.

3 1 1 Weeds/Long Grass Incidents

Weeds Long Grass 2013.pdfWeeds Long Grass 2013.pdf

Weeds Long Grass 2014.pdfWeeds Long Grass 2014.pdf

Weeds Long Grass 2015.pdfWeeds Long Grass 2015.pdf

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Richard Pootmans and the Ward 6 Team

This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward 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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