Mowing, Dandelions and Boulevard Maintenance
The City of Winnipeg Public Service is currently transitioning from spring clean up to parks maintenance activities. The mowing of boulevards and parks has recently started, and I would like to share some information with you on the City’s mowing, weed control and boulevard maintenance programs:
The City’s 2015 operating budget allows for a boulevard and park mowing schedule to occur in a 10–14 working day cycle. It is important to note this is a working day cycle – so in some situations, boulevards and parks may be mowed every two weeks. It is also important to note that grass grows much faster in the spring than it does in the summer or fall. It may appear that the City is not mowing within its mowing schedule – but, spring is a time for rapid growth.
Please refer to the City of Winnipeg Weed Control website for detailed information. The City’s weed control program is changing effective 2015 due to new Provincial legislation (Non-Essential Pesticide Use Regulation under the Environment Act) which restricts traditional pesticide use on lawns. This means that the City can no longer use certain pesticides on grassed boulevards, parks and athletic fields. The reduced use of traditional pesticides may result in an influx of dandelions and invasive weeds. This is not ideal for some, but the City is restricted in using pesticides under the new Provincial legislation. For some tips on organic lawn care, please see here.
For a bit of history, in 2014, the City spent about $4,000 on herbicides and has been primarily mowing to control dandelions for the last few years. Mowing is the only action the City is taking to respond to dandelions in “grassed areas” and while this treatment has labour cost implications, at this point in time, there are no other cost effective legal alternatives. The City did investigate alternative products to spray on dandelions that were in keeping with Provincial legislation, but the product was 8x the cost of Roundup and was not being used by any other Canadian city due to overall ineffectiveness. Hard surface areas (non-grassed areas) with weeds or along difficult locations such as fence lines are now being sprayed with acetic acid (Eco-clear or vinegar). This product is nowhere near as efficient as Roundup, but does comply with Provincial legislation.
To learn more about the minimum level of boulevard maintenance that property owners are responsible for, which boulevards are maintained by the City, and boulevard FAQ’s, please see here.
If you would like to get creative with your boulevard and help to beautify the neighbourhood, visit Non Standard Boulevard Treatment.
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