July 2020 Newsletter
Howdy Ward 14! For ten years now I have begun my July column that way, and I never thought there would be a day when I would question if I should. The Stampede may not be taking place this year, but that doesn’t mean we cannot display the strong sense of community embodied in it. Stampede or no Stampede, I hope you can take some time to enjoy this beautiful city when it is in full bloom.
When it roars, stay indoors
Spectacular thunderstorms rolling through the city is a Stampede experience most of us can all relate to, and the absence of the Stampede will not mean the absence of these July storms. While they are exciting and beautiful, they can also do damage.
In addition to thunder, lightning, rain, and wind, summer storms often bring hail which can damage houses and cars and cause injuries. Protect your home and property by parking under shelter, secure items that might blow away, and remove weak branches and trees. Stay tuned to Environment Canada when conditions exist that may produce tornadoes.
Public weather alerts for Alberta and Alberta Emergency Alerts let the public know when a strong storm is coming. A “severe weather watch” means the conditions favour a certain type of hazardous weather, and a “severe weather warning”, means that the weather event will happen in the next 30 minutes and you should take shelter immediately.
The best place to be during a storm is in an enclosed building or hard topped vehicle, and a basement if tornado conditions exist. Stay away from high ground, isolated trees or telephone poles, picnic shelters and open spaces, to avoid being hit by lightning. Keep yourself and your pets inside until the storm has passed.
Learn more about disaster risk in Calgary and how you can prepare by visiting calary.ca/getready.
For the last few months a lot of us have been using more water at home than we typically do just because we are home more often. That may not be the case as much in July, but with lawns and gardens being watered, summer typically sees more water usage anyway. Water conservation is not only good for the environment, it is good for your pocketbook too.
Here are some helpful tips to make your YardSmart:
- Choose water-wise plants. They need less watering, which means conserving our resources and savings on your water bill. Plants native to our region are a wise choice because they thrive in our unique climate.
- Add pollinator-friendly plants. Our flowering plants and crops rely on pollinators, such as bees. Invite these powerhouses into your yard by planting a variety of white, yellow, blue and purple native flowers that bloom in all seasons. We recommend avoiding pesticides because they can’t discriminate between pests and beneficial insects. Remember, dandelions are not a noxious weed, and are a source of pollen and nectar for bees. For more information on pollinators check out calgary.ca/wildlife and click on the bee!
- Keep your grass 3 inches long. Leaving your grass longer helps develops a deeper root system, keeping the roots cool in the heat and dry weather. Spreading mulch, such as bark or wood chips, also is a healthy choice to reduce evaporation and slow weed growth.
More information about creating a YardSmart yard can be found at calgary.ca/yardsmart
-Councillor Peter Demong