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Weather blamed for look of parks (con't)

But this year they’re reaching parks in about 15 days.

The city has about 2000 acres of parks, 800 of which are Class A or higher profile parks like the riverfront.

Sadler said those are the parks that get the most attention with scheduled cutting once every five days.

The remaining 1200 acres are neighbourhood or community parks.

He said by the end of July parks “will probably be in a lot better shape.”

Sadler said repercussions of last summer’s bitter 101-day strike by outside and inside city hall workers had no bearing on the state of the parks by, for example, workers purposely slowing cutting and maintenance.

“They’re proud of their parks too” Sadler said.

“We haven’t had any difficulties that they’ve slowed down their work and that type of thing. They’re out there doing all they can when they can.”

But he said one area the strike did have an “unwanted” impact on was control of weeds.

The city has one million square feet of planting beds.

They’re not all annual flowers but often wood chipped beds with shrubs.

But weeds have grown and spread because they weren’t rooted out last year.

“It will probably take this full year in order to catch up on all that growth.”

Sadler said the other cause of weeds is the ban on chemical pesticides.

He said the city now uses Horticultural Vinegar and other non-toxic treatments “which aren’t as effective” because they don’t always kill the roots.

He said the city has about 25 regular staff and as many as 50 students working on grass cutting and trimming.

Unless the city can find some other use for them, on rainy days students are sent home, without pay.