Edmonton

Edmonton council faces decision on whether to spray dandelions

Edmonton city councillors will be presented with seven options Tuesday for how to deal with dandelions on city sports fields and parks.

Councillors to review seven options ranging in cost from $2 million to $28 million

Parkland around the Argyll velodrome in south Edmonton was carpeted in dandelions in May 2017. (Lydia Neufeld/CBC)

Edmonton city councillors will be presented with seven options Tuesday for how to deal with dandelions on city sports fields and parks.

A new report going before city council includes four options that call for the use of non-conventional or eco-herbicides, and three that don't involve any herbicides.

The most expensive option includes $4.3 million to install irrigation on 43 high-use sports fields, and $11 million to purchase additional mowing equipment so the grass on fields and parks can be cut more often.

The cheapest option calls for an increase in the number of mowing cycles over the summer months, which will boost operating costs by $2 million each year.

An explosion of dandelions this spring resulted in a decision by city officials to spray sports fields with herbicides at the end of June.

"Edmontonians would like better management of dandelions," according to the report prepared for council. "Administration recommends adopting a more proactive approach to weed control."

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