A weed is any plant growing where it is not wanted where it is in competition with cultivated plants. Weeds are legislated in Alberta through the Alberta Weed Control Act and Regulation.
Every year, the City of Grande Prairie receives hundreds of complaints of weed infestations, from dandelions to tansy. Weed inspectors are appointed by Council to ensure legislated prohibited noxious and noxious weeds are destroyed or controlled. If a plant is non-legislated (such as dandelions), then the City bears no responsibility to ensure its control.
Complaints received about legislated weeds are handled in a specific series of steps, outlined below:
Each complaint is assigned to a weed inspector to handle. They visit the area to conduct a thorough inspection. Under the Weed Control Act, inspectors are allowed to enter private land, without owner permission or knowledge, at any reasonable hour to conduct inspections. Location, species and growth stage of the weed are all documented in a weed report, which is kept on file permanently.
- The inspector will then contact the property owner to discuss control options and decide a date by which control must be completed.
- If the property owner fails to voluntarily control the weeds on their land by the date specified, the weed inspector will contact them again to discuss their reasons for non-compliance. Since herbicide applications can only be conducted safely during specific weather conditions, wind, rain, and high/low temperatures and humidity often delay weed control.
- If the weed inspector is not satisfied with the property owner's reasons for non-compliance, they may then issue a weed notice. Weed notices are legal documents under the Weed Control Act, and clearly outline the weed species and its designation, its location, acceptable control options and a date of completion.
- If the property owner fails to comply with the weed notice, the municipality will conduct weed control as outlined on the notice (either themselves or through a contractor) and bill all charges back to the property owner. Any outstanding charges are applied to the tax roll of the property.
If you wish to report noxious or prohibited noxious weeds, please contact Parks Operations directly.
In 2008, per Council's direction, Parks Operations ceased to apply herbicide for dandelion control on City-maintained turf areas. This dramatically reduced the amount of herbicide applied yearly to boulevards and parks.
Dandelions are an aesthetic weed; they are non-legislated in Alberta and there is no requirement for their control. We encourage homeowners to leave their lawn dandelions as an early spring food source for struggling native bee populations.