Weeds and Turf Care

The City strives to maintain parks, sports fields and boulevards to provide our residents and visitors with great outdoor spaces.

The City uses Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies. IPM is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of methods while continuing to be environmental stewards. The different types of methods are biological control, habit manipulation, modification of cultural practices and use of resistant varieties. We use an IPM approach for weed control on City property.

Weeds designated as "prohibited noxious and noxious" under the Alberta Weed Control Act can spread rapidly and cause serious problems. Property owners are responsible for controlling these plants on their property.

See an area that needs tending to? Report it on Fort Report

Dandelions

Dandelions are not listed by the Alberta Weed Control Act, so they are considered a non-regulated nuisance weed. As such, the City does not blanket-spray for dandelions in an effort to protect the environment. Preventative practices such as proper soil management, mowing, adequate nutrients and watering programs are often sufficient to prevent the spread of dandelions.

Selected spraying is completed on dandelions when our weed threshold is exceeded. The Public Works Department continues to explore available alternatives, products and strategies currently used in weed control for potential use in our City.

 
Dandelions

Fun Fact!

Did you know that the dandelions are the first food for the bees and other pollinators? We need the bees to pollinate our flowers, gardens, shrubs and trees.

What are pollinators?

A pollinator is an animal that fertilizes plants by moving pollen form one flower to another. Pollination occurs when pollen grains are moved between two flowers of the same species, or within a single flower, by wind or animals that are pollinators.

About 75% of all flowering plants rely on animal pollinators and over 200,000 species of animals act as pollinators such as hummingbirds, bats, and small mammals. The rest are insects such as beetles, bees, ants, wasps, butterflies, and moths.

Pollinators are critical in the reproduction of 30% of major food crops. So when you enjoy a juicy apple or a fresh cut tomato you must thank the pollinators of the world.

What can we do to help pollinators?

Reduce your impact. Reduce or eliminate your pesticide use, increase green spaces, and minimize urbanization. Pollution and climate change affect pollinators, too!

Plant for pollinators. Create pollinator-friendly habitats with native flowering plants that supply pollinators with nectar, pollen, and homes. 

Pollinator friendly plants

  • Liatris
  • Aster
  • Sunflower
  • Lavendar
  • Goldenrod
  • Coneflower
  • Milkweed
  • Bee Balm

Sheep and Goats

Sheep Grazing Program

The sheep of Fort Saskatchewan have been delighting visitors and keeping the grass trim in City parks for 30 years. If ewe haven't already heard, Fort Saskatchewan uses the flock as an eco-friendly way of looking after the parks.

Make sure to stop by and visit the sheep while they're in town!

Goats as Weed Management

You may see goats at West River’s Edge (WRE). They’re being used as a safe environmentally friendly alternative to weed management. They’ll cover up to 96 hectares and will treat effected areas up to three times over the summer and fall.

Please be advised:

  • Dogs charging the fence frightens the goats. Please keep your dog away if your dog is trying to be their boss!
  • Signs will be posted informing the public of the work area for the day
  • Two shepherds will be monitoring and herding the goats to effected areas

We urge Fort Saskatchewan residents, and visitors, to please respect the posted work signs and give the goats and shepherds room to work.

Learn more about goats and weed management

For more information on the goats and weed management, please call 780-992-6248.

Thistle

Thistle is a noxious weed and can spread rapidly. Did you know, the primary method of thistles spreading is not from the seeds but rather their extensive root system! While the seeds are the method of thistles spreading to new areas, the roots can spread laterally and horizontally, allowing the weed to cover a large area of grass if it is not maintained properly.

Thistle
Canada thistle — Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop.

Sow Thistle
Sow Thistle — Sonchus arvensis L.

The City aims to monitor and control thistles through mechanical approaches in City parks and open spaces. A crew will remove the weed by mowing the thistles regularly before the flowers turn to seeds. The City attempts to avoid the use of pesticides as often as possible to preserve the environment.

Mow your lawn regularly to keep thistle under control in your yard before it flowers and seeds. If you see thistles growing on your neighbour’s property, go and talk to them! Inform them of the noxious weed and work together to reduce the spread of thistles in our community.

Minimizing soils disturbances and promptly re-vegetating disturbed areas with competitive plants i.e. grass seed, will also prevent establishment of Canada thistle and or choke it out.

If the thistles are on City property or private commercial property, report it through Fort Report.

Learn more about thistle

Herbicide Treatment

When invasive weeds cannot be controlled with natural strategies, herbicides are used. They’re the same herbicides anyone can find at the local garden centre. Once the area is treated and all the weeds are killed, natural weed control methods are continued.

Notices are placed a minimum 48 hours after treatment. Remember, treatment is weather dependant, and can be delayed. Once treatment is completed there may be a pesticide smell, but it will dissipate after a few hours.

Herbicides Used
Product Active Ingredient P.C.P Number
Fiesta/Hasten Iron presents at FeHEDTA 29535
Garlon Triclopyr 28945
Roundup Transorb Glysphosate 28998
Trillion 2, 4-D, mecoprop-p,dicamba 27972

In addition to herbicide use we also use natural strategies such as: Goats, sheep, flea beetles, mowing and line trimming.

High Profile Locations

"High Profile" locations will see year over year monitoring and turf maintenance to ensure green spaces are kept at a high standard and invasive weeds do not creep into these highly used areas of the city. These areas are rented by the public, used by minor sports, and see increased traffic during the summer months.

The following areas have been identified as "High Profile" locations:

  1. West River's Edge Pavilion
  2. Pryce Alderson Park
  3. RCMP/Municipal Enforcement Building
  4. Taurus Field and surrounding area
  5. Henderson Park
  6. Legacy Park
  7. City Hall
  8. Lion's Park/Pool
  9. JRC & Curling Club and surrounding area
  10. Harbour Pool
  11. Fire Hall
  12. James E. Graham Boulevards & Mechanics entrance
  13. City Entrance "Bowls" on Highway 15
  14. Highway "Roadsides" within City
  15. All Sportsfields and surrounding buffer areas