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Grass and Green Spaces

Maintenance Update - July 16, 2019

Father Beauregard park in Abasand will be closed temporarily for maintenance from July 17 at 6 a.m. until noon on July 18.

Please watch for any posted signage. Visit rmwb.ca/outdoors for a list of other parks and greenspaces around the city.

Grass and Green Space Maintenance

We live in a green community. With dozens of parks, green spaces and boulevards throughout the region, that’s a lot of grass. In fact, the Municipality maintains approximately 475 Hectares of turf and more than 12 Hectares of garden beds throughout the region. This also means the potential for a lot of weeds. To keep our green spaces beautiful and healthy, the municipal Parks Department will perform weed and vegetation control in various locations during the summer months. 

This treatment includes spraying herbicides on municipal grass and green spaces. All herbicide products used by the Municipality are approved by Health Canada and applied by licensed applicators.  

Timing for work can depend on a number of variables including weather conditions (too wet or too dry, or too hot or cold), maintenance priorities, and equipment availability. Sometimes treatment will need to be re-scheduled if weather conditions don't allow for work to be done.

Updates and locations

To get updates and locations where pest or weed treatment is happening, please contact Pulse at 780-743-7000, 1-800-973-9663, or rmwb.ca/pulse.  

Treatment signage 

When Parks crews are treating municipal grass and green spaces, they will post signage before (yellow) and after (red) the treatment has been completed. Please watch for posted signage. Please see photos of the signage to familiarize yourself with the information.

Treatment Signage 1 Treatment Signage Red

To ensure effectiveness of the treatment and to avoid any potential irritation or allergic reactions to herbicide or pesticide products, do NOT use the identified area during the posted time frame. Once the time frame is complete, the treated area will be reopened for use and enjoyment. 

Areas to be treated will have signs posted a minimum of 24 hours before treatment (yellow sign). After treatment has been completed, a new sign will be posted (red sign). Dates and times will be listed on signage to inform users when to avoid areas and when it's okay to re-enter the area

Please follow posted instructions and information so you can continue to use parks and greenspaces around the region with minimal disruption. If a park near you is closed for treatment, there are numerous other parks and greenspaces available. Visit rmwb.ca/outdoors for a list of all outdoor assets and recreation areas.

Safety 

All herbicide and pesticide products used by the Municipality are approved by Health Canada and applied by licensed applicators. Areas are closed off to ensure effectiveness of the treatment and to avoid any potential irritation or reaction to the products. Please see below for a list of products used by the Municipality.

The Municipality uses the same products that are used across other municipalities across Alberta like Calgary and Red Deer. 

Odour 

A freshly sprayed area will have an odour that will disappear once the treatment has dried. If you experience any irritation due to odour, please stay out of the area until the treatment is dry. This typically takes two to three hours, depending on weather conditions.

Treatment products 

Herbicides:
2,4-D_Ester
Casoron
CIVITAS
Fiesta
Garlon RTU
Glyphosate
Milestone
Par III
Trillion

Pesticides:
Diatomaceous Earth
Dragnet
DRIONE

For more specific information about these products, contact Pulse at 780-743-7000 or 1-800-973-9663 (toll free). Or online at rmwb.ca/pulse.

Grass mowing schedules 

While Parks crews are busy controlling weeds and pests, they also maintain approximately 450 Hectares of turf throughout the region. All grass is maintained on a 14-day rolling cycle (weather dependent).

Sports fields, cemeteries and premiere parks, are mowed more often based on necessity and availability of crews and equipment. 

Residents’ responsibilities 

Did you know that it’s the responsibility of every owner, tenant or occupant within Fort McMurray to keep grass cut shorter than six inches? The municipal Nuisance Bylaw and Land Use Bylaw provide guidance on the subject of lawn maintenance. 

Residents are responsible to maintain grass on and around their property to the curb of the road. This means that residents are responsible for the strip of grass that may be between the sidewalk and the road – also known as a right-of-way (ROW).  

Are you a good neighbour? 

While there are bylaws in place that guide lawn maintenance, residents are encouraged to maintain the grass around their property because beautifies the community and promotes community pride.

Regular lawn maintenance is also an important consideration for being a good neighbour. Unkempt lawns can be unsightly, but they can also develop weeds that will spread to neighbouring properties and compound the problem.

Residents are encouraged to be a good neighbour and to be considerate of neighbouring properties.  Learn more tips on how you can contribute to making our neigbourhoods even better at rmwb.ca/goodneighbour

Grasscycling 

Grasscycling or mulching is the natural practice of recycling grass clippings by leaving them on the lawn when mowing. Once cut, the clippings will quickly dry out and decay naturally releasing valuable nutrients back into the soil for a healthier lawn. This process promotes a healthier and deeper root system, and increases grass resistance to drought and disease. 

Grasscycling is a simple and easy way to get involved in reducing waste that benefits the environment and saves time because it eliminates the bagging and dragging of clippings to the curb. Try it this year and see the difference. 

Find out more about the grasscycling program at rmwb.ca/grasscycling

FAQ’s 

Q: Do other cities and municipalities treat their green spaces with herbicides or pesticides? 

A: Yes. The RMWB uses the same products that are used across other municipalities across Alberta like Calgary and Red Deer.

Q: Are products used by the Municipality safe? 

A: All weed and pest control products used by the Municipality are approved by Health Canada and applied by licensed applicators.

Treated areas are closed off to ensure effectiveness of the treatment and to avoid any potential reactions or irritation to the product while the product dries. 

Q: How often does the Municipality treat green spaces with herbicides?

A: Typically, grass and greenspaces are treated two times a season as a blanket application if needed. However, these products can also be used for spot application more than two times a season should it be needed.

Q: How many hectares of turf are does the Municipality take care of throughout the year? 

A: The Parks Branch maintains approximately 450 Hectares of turf, and more than 12 Hectares of garden beds throughout the region. 

Q: Are there any priority areas that are done more often than others? (i. e., Birchwood Trails, Syncrude Athletic Park) 

A: All grass is maintained or mowed on a 14-day rolling cycle (weather dependent). Sports fields, cemeteries and premiere parks, are mowed more often based on necessity and availability of crews and equipment. 

Q: Whose responsibility is it to maintain the right-of-way (ROW) in front of my home? 

A: It is the property owner’s responsibility to mow the grass on and around their property to the curb of the road. This includes the strip of grass that may be between the sidewalk and the road (ROW).    

More information can be found in the Land Use Bylaw No. 99/059, under Section 72.5(b): “The Developer/Owner of a parcel of land abutting a boulevard shall landscape and maintain the boulevard abutting the parcel by grading, placing topsoil, seeding, or performing other work that may be necessary to establish a turf boulevard, including weed control, with all landscape and maintenance of the boulevard being entirely the Developer’s/Owners expense.”