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This is why Edmonton's green spaces might look a bit shaggy this summer


If you've noticed long grass and dandelions on city boulevards, you're not alone. And that's likely to continue throughout the summer.

The City of Edmonton says its turf program is closely linked with its winter maintenance and spring sweep program.

Street sweeping started around Easter and is scheduled to wrap up, on schedule, on Saturday.

"A lot of the labour that goes from winter maintenance to spring sweep maintenance transitions into turf maintenance," Mark Beare of the city told CTV News Edmonton on Monday.

"We're starting to wrap up the spring sweep this week, which means that our turf teams are starting to get healthier. They're anywhere between 50 and 80 per cent staff right now. But following this weekend we're going to be at full capacity."

But even as staff come online, residents shouldn't expect to see their neighbourhood boulevards mowed regularly.

"This year won't really be different in terms of the standard, but we're actually a little more upfront with people about what that standard is," Ward Nakota Isga Coun. Andrew Knack said.

Knack said the city website previously claimed sports fields would be mowed within seven days, and other green spaces within 10 to 14 days.

However, he says crews haven't been achieving that standard due to the city's continued growth.

Dandelions and long grass in Edmonton. (Darcy Seaton/CTV News Edmonton)

"The website now lists what we're actually achieving, which is that your premier sports fields in your main parks are being done within every eight days, and all of the other green spaces are going to be done every 10 to 18 days."

Knack says he shares resident concerns about the maintenance of city green spaces.

"I would suggest 18 is too much, I do think you need to be closer to that 14," he commented.

Dandelions and long grass in Edmonton. (Darcy Seaton/CTV News Edmonton)

"I think most Edmontonians, when you're thinking about what makes up core services of a city, cutting the grass feels like one of those things that's really core. So I don't think you want to be going any more than 14 days on your green spaces."

However, he acknowledges increasing the frequency of grass maintenance comes with a cost.

"I think we'll have that upfront conversation with everyone about 'Here's what we're doing with the resources that we have with the inventory that we have,' and then this fall, we're going to have a conversation about 'Do we want to do more? This is what it will cost.' And again, that's going to be a very transparent conversation with Edmontonians."

The city passed an 8.9 per cent property-tax increase at the end of April.

For more information about maintenance of public spaces, visit the city's website.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's David Ewasuk Top Stories

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