Swapping grass for low maintenance plants to save money
EDMONTON -- City council is exploring the possibility of removing grass from some areas and replacing it with flora that doesn’t require as much maintenance.
After months without care city grass is being cut again on a regular basis. About 100 workers were recently rehired by the city in order to accomplish this.
“We know that cutting grass costs a lot of money,” said Ward 4 Coun. Aaron Paquette.
Paquette suggested replacing grass with different kinds of flora could save the city money.
“Using permaculture, which means plants that sort of take care of themselves, so that there’s less maintenance, less cost,” said Paquette.
The change would affect areas like boulevards and green spaces along sidewalks.
This wouldn’t mean the areas would be left to go entirely wild though. Paquette suggested several native plant species would be a good fit.
“They don’t grow very tall, there’s a lot of flowers possibly, you know, just things that you don’t actually have to maintain.”
The idea is growing on a local beekeeper who sees benefit for others besides the city.
“It’ll benefit the honey bees, as well as the local pollinators that are around,” said Troy Donovan, an urban beekeeper at MacEwan University.
Donovan thinks that some might find the more wild looking setting less appealing than the manicured look of mowed grass.
He also believes that there will be some maintenance required so that weeds don’t take over the spaces.
On Monday city council agreed to have staff look at how much the city would save by cutting down on the amount of mowing needed.
A report is expected to be presented to council in January, allowing for time to explore a pilot project if the findings are favourable.