Curbing dandelions a priority

The City of Red Deer will continue searching for alternative ways to curb dandelions so they don’t run amok next spring.

The City of Red Deer will continue searching for alternative ways to curb dandelions so they don’t run amok next spring.

City council decided on Monday to approve the recommendation from the Environmental Advisory Committee regarding the proliferation of the weeds, particularly along city lands.

In 2010, the province removed dandelions from the Weed Act and Regulations, resulting in changes to city practices with respect to dandelion management.

The committee suggested keeping the city’s plans to reduce pesticide use by another 10 per cent by 2035, from 2010 levels. It also recommended that turf care practices be improved on city lands. That means that enhanced aeration, topdressing and overseeding can occur.

The city would also invest in alternative dandelion control product pilots and trials.

It will also create weed population thresholds, based on the use of these turf areas.

Administration was also directed to bring a funding request in 2013 regarding enhanced turf care practices.

Coun. Frank Wong had asked for more weed control based on complaints from residents.

Some of them were having to treat dandelions on their lawns because seeds were spreading on nearby city lands.

“We’re not doing more for the environment when we’re having residents doing more spraying,” said Wong.

Parks superintendent Trevor Poth said he recognizes that residents are overusing chemicals, so this was taken into consideration as part of the report.

Mayor Morris Flewwelling and Councillors Tara Veer, Dianne Wyntjes, Paul Harris, Lynne Mulder and Cindy Jefferies voted in favour of the resolution. Wong and Coun. Chris Stephan were opposed. Coun. Buck Buchanan was absent.

“It doesn’t really address a lot of the citizens’ concerns,” said Wong later. “We study and study. People are still going to have to do their own controls.”

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