Lethbridge residents may see a few changes when visiting a city park this year compared to last. That’s because the City has to reduce the overall parks budget by $600,000 annually. Parks Manager with the City of Lethbridge, David Ellis, says the 2021 budget reduction is affecting all areas in the parks department.
Ellis adds, irrigation replacement will be significantly affected this year as there will be limited staff over the summer. But, tree and flower planting will resume as normal this year.
The following service level changes will be in effect for the 2021 season and beyond:
- Dryland mowing in parks and green spaces will continue at 1-2 times per year, down from 3-4 times. Priority will be given to fire breaks, along pathways and fence lines and along roadways where grass may inhibit sightlines for motorists. Some dryland areas, such as large fields and beside roadways where safety is not a concern will be left longer
- Trimming around trees, posts, and fence lines will be reduced to 1-2 times per season from 3-4 times per season
- Irrigated turf will be mowed at a more regular frequency and more often than it was in 2020. Irrigation and fertilization will be reduced to slow growth to a maintainable rate. Crews will take a targeted approach to trouble areas as needed
- Tree planting will return to a normal level by planting about 300 trees, up from 0 last year
- Sports fields and feature parks such as Henderson Park, Nicholas Sheran Park and Legacy Park will be mowed regularly
- Flower planting will return to a normal level after being reduced in 2020.
- Orders for dedication benches will be accepted, but installation may not happen until late in the season
- Garbage collection and graffiti removal will not be impacted