Don McNabb lives in the area and is a frequent user of its walking trails next to the ravine. He’s tired of sharing the space with the unpopular weed.
“I jog through this park every day and the park has been sitting in this disarray for about two weeks. They came out, they cut some of it and then just disappeared,” McNabb said.
“Whatever we can do to get it fixed, I’d appreciate it.”
City councilor Bob Hawkins said the city mows parks, along pathways and property lines in the Harbour Landing ravine, but leaves the rest up to nature.
“That grass will be pushed out of the environmental reserve by the prairie grasses as they get established in the reserve,” Hawkins said.
Foxtail is also popping up in front lawns and empty house lots. It’s something Hawkins would like to see gone.
“The rule in the city, for the whole city, is that homeowners look after their boulevards and property owners look out for their property,” Hawkins said.
“Generally speaking, homeowners throughout the city are expected to mow the grass and keep their boulevards in good shape.”
Foxtail can also be seen in many of the spaces surrounding Canada Post mailboxes, something Hawkins said doesn’t fall on the city.
“What will happen in those cases is the city will have to notify Canada Post and they have to look after it and maintain the pieces of land where there are mailboxes,” Hawkins said.
However, Canada Post claims otherwise.
“Canada Post maintains and is responsible for the area directly in front of community mailboxes for safe and unimpeded access for our customers and our employees, such as, clearing the area of snow and ice during the winter months,” Canada Post told Global News via email.
“However, Canada Post is not responsible for the ground maintenance of the areas around community mailbox sites. Each municipality has its own by-laws with respect to city property maintenance.”
Not only does foxtail get a bad rap for how it looks, it can also be harmful to animals including cats and dogs, says one Regina veterinarian.
“Foxtail can be dangerous if it goes into the tissue. It moves only in a forward direction and if it goes into the trachea, it can get into the lungs,” said Dr. Davinder Bath, Northgate Animal Hospital veterinarian.
“It can get in through the ears and get embedded in the ear drum…sometimes it can get in the nose, but mostly it gets embedded into the animal’s paws.”
Bath said when foxtail gets to animal’s lungs, it can often be deadly.
Although the city couldn’t comment on the dangers of foxtail when it comes to animals, the city did respond to the problem via statement.
“The city controls foxtail growth in public areas by mowing along pathways and in parks. This is best done early in the season prior to the plant producing seed,” the city said in an email.
“In addition, in park spaces, we aim to ensure the conditions exist for healthy turf. A healthy turf will eventually choke out the undesirable weeds. The same practices can be followed in a backyard.”
Hawkins said bylaw officers are out patrolling the situation and issuing warnings first, giving owners 14 days to fix the issue. If nothing is resolved in those 14 days, tickets will be issued.
Fine prices can be found on the city’s website.