> Home > Municipal Government > Municipal Departments > Public Works > Parks & Trails > Grass and Green Spaces

Grass and Green Spaces

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. 

Updates and locations

To get updates and locations for where Parks crews are currently treating weeds, please contact Pulse at 780-743-7000, or rmwb.ca/pulse.  

Treatment signage 

When Parks crews are treating municipal grass and green spaces, they will post signage before and after the treatment has been completed. Please watch for posted signage. To ensure effectiveness of the treatment and to avoid any potential reactions to herbicide products, do NOT use the identified area during the posted timeframe. Once the timeframe is complete, the treated area will be reopened for use and enjoyment. 

Areas to be treated will be signed a minimum of 24 hours prior to treatment (yellow sign below). After the treatment has been completed, a new sign will be posted (red sign below). This signage will be updated once the treatment has been completed to inform users when they can re-enter the area. Please follow posted instructions and information.  

Safety 

All weed control 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 reactions to the product. Please see below for a list of products used by the municipality, or view MSDS sheets for each product in the list above.

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 commonly used by the Parks team:  

  • Roundup PCP# 27487 
  • Par III PCP# 27884 
  • Trillion PCP#27972
  • Casoron G-4 PCP# 12533

For more specific information about these products, please see MSDS sheets above.​

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. 

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: Is the treatment 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 to the product while the product dries. 

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

A: Typically, Parks staff will treat turf 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 required.

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 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.” 

WMZones and all subzones are active Nov. 19 - 23. Follow us here for regular updates.