City Parks and Green Spaces

Here are some local examples of green spaces managed naturally and examples of other cities which have succesfully moved to natural landscaping practices.  If they can do it, so can Calgary!

Rockyview School District

The Rockyview School District is just west and north of Calgary. They manage 410 acres of school grounds - some of the most difficult landscape to maintain in Canada because of the cool, dry conditions. Since 1994, they have not used synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Using natural landscaping practices, the school grounds are pleasing to the 15,000 people who view them daily.  Read more . . .

Bow Point Nursery

Bow Point Nursery specializes in growing native trees and shrubs just west of Calgary in Springbank. The nursery has has been financially self-sustaining since 1992.  Bow Point uses natural landscaping methods and only waters newly planted plants.  They’ve also recently been having great success with hardy native grasses for lawns.  Read more . . .

City of Waterloo, Ontario

The City of Waterloo’s Plant Health Care Program used by the Parks department since 1991 has shown that going without pesticides “is compatible with sound financial management.” Between 1991 and 1997, the green space maintained by the Parks department increased by 54% while the costs were reduced by 58%, while using almost no pesticides.

Click here for a study on how the City of Waterloo adopted natural landscaping practices.

Click here to link to the City of Waterloo’s Parks section of their web-site.  You can see the pride they have in their environmental leadership.

City of Whitehorse, Yukon Territories

The City of Whitehorse reduced its unnecessary pesticide use in  the mid-1990’s to save money and because the City staff had concerns about the health effects of pesticides on themselves and on residents.  Now residents are liking the more natural northern look, as well as the cost savings. “This is a Northern area and it should look like a Northern area; it shouldn’t look like a golf course everywhere you go.” Read more . . .

Boulder, Colorado

The City of Boulder, Colorado has a similar environment to Calgary. It’s on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains so has the cool, dry climate challenges we have here. The City of Boulder is a pioneer in using xeriscaping (low water use landscaping) to reduce its water use. The City also has an Integrated Pest Management Program that means they rarely use pesticides. Read more . . .

Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Halifax Regional Municipality has had a pesticide bylaw since 2000.  For at least 10 years before the bylaw passed, City staff had stopped using unnecessary pesticides on City Parks and green spaces. Using natural landscaping practices they keep their tourist City looking beautiful. Even more impressive, they have been given Special Recognition by “Communities in Bloom” for their naturally managed sports fields. Read more . . .

Click here for natural practices the City of Calgary could use for Parks and green spaces.

Click here for how to use natural landscaping practices in your yard.

Click here for actions you can take to support a pesticide bylaw in Calgary.