Jul 07

City moves forward with revised Naturalization plan - June 16, 2017 Media Release

Posted on July 7, 2017 at 2:37 PM by Website Administrator

After receiving a lot of feedback (both positive and negative), Council decided that a clearer definition of exactly where Naturalization will take place along Camrose Drive was needed.

With careful consideration and planning, a revised Naturalization plan has been developed with the following clarifications:

  • Camrose Drive (50 street to the bridge)
  • Leave the south side of the road as it is presently and plant trees as the budget allows.
  • Leave the north side of the road as it is presently with the exception of providing an approximate 18 foot wide mowed area between the fence and the naturalized area (top of the slope / berm) and widen the mowed area by the sidewalk.
  • Camrose Drive (from the bridge to Parkview Drive)
  • On the south side of the road mow from the fence to the walking trail and leave the remainder as naturalized.
  • Leave the north side naturalized as well and continue to mow the drainage ditch from the fence line to the top of the berm.
  • Camrose Drive/62 Street (from Parkview Drive to Enevold Drive)
  • Mow the north side of the road entirely (on both the road and the housing sides of the berm).
  • The south / west side of the road will be left naturalized with potential for future tree planting where there is no housing. An 18 foot wide buffer will be mowed where there are houses.

The areas that will remain naturalized will continue to receive attention when needed to help with weed control and cleaning. Any areas presently naturalized but being returned to being mowed will require a phased approach. We ask the public to be patient as the long grass is removed. 

As well, if anyone from the public notices and litter or damage to any green space, including naturalized areas, kindly inform the City of Camrose.

Click here to view the map of Naturalized areas.

Jul 07

City attends to Naturalization brown patches - August 29, 2016 Media Release

Posted on July 7, 2017 at 2:37 PM by Website Administrator

The City of Camrose is working hard to become more environmentally friendly and fiscally responsible. Throughout the past few years, the City has been “naturalizing” certain sections of the city. (Naturalization is an alternative landscape management technique allowing the landscape to become more natural by planting trees and shrubs that are natively found in Alberta while reducing the time spent manicuring it.)

The City will continue to maintain the areas by spot mowing and spraying weeds where necessary and maintaining walking paths. “Eventually the long grass will choke out the weeds and the final effect will be a beautiful and natural landscape with very minimal upkeep,” Clarkson says.

However, this past week, the City crew accidentally sprayed larger than necessary areas which left brown patches. The City of Camrose Parks crew has cleaned up the dead weeds and dead grass and will work to ensure the grass returns to these spots. The natural grass can already be seen beginning to grow through.
Jul 07

Let it Grow - July 6, 2016 Media Release

Posted on July 7, 2017 at 2:36 PM by Website Administrator

Naturalization is an alternative landscape management technique allowing the landscape to become more natural by planting trees and shrubs that are natively found in Alberta while reducing the time spent manicuring it. The idea is like a private resident mowing their main use areas while letting their garden areas or low use area grow with natural grasses, shrubs and trees. The City, like a private resident will still be expected to control noxious weeds, garbage and keep the area as tidy as possible. The City of Camrose does ask that the public be patient as it will take a few years for the beautiful natural grass to establish itself as the primary plant and for the weeds to be reduced and limited.

The City has recently begun this process along the south side of town by the ring road. The small section of grass that divides the residential areas and the main road has had many seedlings planted and is no longer being mowed with the exception of buffer areas that will be mowed along residential lots. Over time these plants will mature and the area will look as natural as our beautiful countryside while being a noise barrier to the homes.

Another benefit of this process is that the City is using taxpayer dollars more effectively by reallocating staff and money to other projects. Naturalization of certain areas also means that the City will not need to buy another mower (approximately $110,000) and will continue to use the same number of units therefore saving money in operators, equipment, and maintenance costs.

While many residents have already voiced their excitement over this project, some still have concerns over wildlife, fire hazards, and the health of the seedlings. Chris Clarkson, Parks Director, puts these worries to rest. “There is no evidence of an increase of rodents or snakes in these areas. Plus the area is not large enough to harbor deer or coyotes.” Clarkson also adds that the plantings were specifically picked to not include berries so that they would not attract deer and that it was mostly likely that “deer will not stick around due to the high volume of pedestrian and vehicle traffic.”

When asked about the potential fire hazard, Clarkson responded, “The area is too small to be a fire hazard plus it has a fire break on the other side. However if we ever had extreme dry weather, the option is still there for us to mow a larger buffer.”

“The seedlings planted are going to be monitored very closely,” Clarkson explains. “The grass will not choke out the seedling trees. There is mulch around the seedlings which holds the water and they will be watered when necessary. They are all native plants so they can withstand our climate without a lot of upkeep.”

The City will continue to maintain the area by spot mowing and spraying weeds where necessary and maintaining walking paths. “Eventually the long grass will choke out the weeds and the final effect will be a beautiful and natural landscape with very minimal upkeep,” Clarkson says.