People living near Fish Creek Provincial Park in Calgary are lobbying the province to do something about the spread of noxious weeds near their homes.
Ted New lives on Sun Valley Drive across from Fish Creek Park. He says noxious weeds like leafy spurge and thistle have been spreading over the years in the green space across from his home and now down the escarpment into the valley.
“Leafy spurge is a noxious weed and it’s spreading at an exponential rate,” New said. “Not too many things eat it.”
Neighbours are worried about the weeds not only spreading through the park, but also on to their own properties.
“Friends of ours have some noxious weeds now in their back alley. Our friends are meticulous about keeping the yard clean and now it’s invaded their property,” said Sundance resident Robert Loblaw.
Both leafy spurge and thistle are on the province’s noxious weed list. According to the Weed Control Act, noxious weeds must be controlled, but their spread has left people in Sundance frustrated, saying the province is not enforcing its own rules.
“There are rules and regulations regarding what you have to do if you have noxious weeds. If you do have noxious weeds, you are supposed to mitigate it. You’re supposed to take control of it. We think they have an obligation to do that,” New said. “It’s frustrating to poke and push to get them to obey their own legislation.”
According to the province, some pilot projects aimed at getting rid of the weeds are on the way. Calgary-Shaw MLA Graham Sucha says provincial officials will be meeting with the City of Calgary to determine the best options.
“I can confirm from the ministry that they received a noxious weed order from the City of Calgary and that’s why we want to make sure that we move forward next week with the city to address the situation and also look at reallocating some resources to address the noxious weed issues that we’ve been dealing with in Fish Creek Park for decades,” Sucha said on Friday.
“It’s unfortunate that under the previous government that park was neglected for so long, and we’re now starting to see our government take action.”
Some of the options being considered are mowing and herbicides. Sucha said that all stakeholders will be consulted.
Residents are holding a meeting on the issue July 4.