In 2015 two-thirds of the property owners of the community of Edgemont chose to transform an aged community that was looking very run down and uncared for into a LEAF Community (Landscape Enhancement and Appreciation Fund. ) Edgemont started the program in the spring of 2016.
The City was the contractor of the LEAF program until 2018 when they turned the responsibility of the LEAF program over to the Community Centres and the name changed from LEAF to Enhanced Landscape Maintenance (ELM). The ELM fund is the special tax levy collected from every homeowner in the community of Edgemont to be held by the City in trust for the exclusive use in our community.
This money pays our contractors for the maintenance and enhancements of the public green spaces in Edgemont. The City does not get this money for their use. The City distributes the money to the ECA’s separate ELM account upon their approval of each contractor invoice that is submitted by the Edgemont Community Association.
THE VISION FOR LEAF/ELM
- To enhance the daily quality of life for residents
- Raise Edgemont’s desirability as a place to live
- Create pride of ownership in our public spaces
- Partner with the City of Calgary for a smooth implementation each year
WHAT TO EXPECT
- The enhanced maintenance schedule of all public green spaces in the community of Edgemont (enhanced mowing schedule from 8 Cycles (City) to 20 Cycles (LEAF)
- April until September
- Median rejuvenation
- Boulevard rejuvenation (public green spaces only)
- Enhanced turf care in all of Edgemont’s parks, medians, boulevards, public green spaces (de-thatching, aerating, topdressing, overseeding, repairing damaged turf)
- Tree well maintenance in the public green spaces
- Shrub bed maintenance and rejuvenation
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM) treats weeds and pests-(moles, voles, ants, etc.)
- Mulching of specific garden beds, shrub beds, and tree wells. (helps with moisture retention)
- Spring and fall clean up of the public green spaces
- Irrigation of some of the parks
- Watering of the planters and garden beds by a water truck
WHAT NOT TO EXPECT
- Sign repair
- Maintenance or enhancements of signage that is on private property (appears most of our signs are on private property)
- We can enhance any signage on public green space.
- Fence repairs
- Snow removal
- Flower beds in medians (City Roads Dept does not allow new beds to be placed on medians)
- Roadway maintenance
- Planting or removal of trees (This is restricted to the Urban Forestry Department only)
- Watering of trees ( this is restricted to the Urban Forestry Department only)
- Maintenance of the natural areas
INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT (IPM)
- Treats prohibited noxious weeds
- Sprays for broadleaf weeds in turf
- Sprays a non-select herbicide in shrub beds or tree wells
- Treatments will not be done unless a 311 request is submitted by a resident or the ELM Director
- Parks will not be sprayed unless threshold levels have been met. Parks with tot lots can not be treated within a certain number of meters of the tot lot. Most of Edgemont’s parks with tot lots are too small to have any treatments.
- Sports fields are a top priority for child safety
- Signs must be posted at the entrances of the community at least 3 days ahead of treatment
Yellow warning signs will be present and should be respected for re-entry times
CEMENT PLANTER CONSIDERATIONS
Planters were researched for their quality, cost, longevity, aesthetics, maintenance, diversity in shapes, colour, sizes, spares, and the winter look
The aggregate planters withstand hail and stone chips from the road debris, the colour maintains itself well, drains well, are not good surfaces for graffiti, blend well with the natural landscape, and can withstand our climate .
The white planters were originally chosen to blend in with the skylines of the natural areas.
Edgemont is a very large Community (about the size of Okotoks). Like any landscape project, it takes time and money to complete. By the end of the year, 5 Edgemont will have completed the planter and garden bed enhancements. Due to the utility right of ways, Roads Department restrictions as to how much space must be left around the planters for safety reasons, pedestrian and traffic safety and placement near walkways are some reasons areas can not have planters or garden beds.
The other major reason is the access to the water truck hoses being able to reach the planters or beds.
All major routes in, out and around Edgemont have been enhanced for everyone's enjoyment. Planters have also been placed where possible to enhance the pedestrian's experience around the parks.
The many mature trees and spruce beds located around Edgemont can not have many enhancements due to the mature root systems. We are restricted from digging in and around the mature roots.
Our neglected and diseased shrub beds are being pruned back, cut back to the ground to encourage new healthy growth or being removed if dead. New shrubs may be added back into some places in the spring if needed.
This gives a general review of the ELM program to date. Without ELM our community would continue to deteriorate in looks and would receive less and less maintenance by the City. The City budget gets cut drastically every year and our services are greatly reduced. Keeping our community well maintained encourages pride of ownership and helps to keep our parks and green spaces safe for children and pedestrians. Well cared for green spaces also encourage more people to spend time in and walking around our great community.