Keeping City Hall Park green

Keeping a lawn lush and green has proven to be harmful to the environment, but the City of Red Deer is trying to change that.

With all the chemicals used to sustain lawns these days one can only imagine what it is doing to our health, said Joe Pelz, head gardener for City Hall Park.

With the help of Tim Penstone with EnviroPerfect Solutions, Pelz has transformed the lawn at City Hall Park through a sustainable turf management program.

He contacted Penstone three years ago to help with the turf at City Hall Park and has seen a difference.

“It has come a long way,” said Pelz. “The lawn has totally turned around from being compact and sparse to thick, lush and soft.”

The lawn care program has been so successful that the City has decided to try it out on two local sports fields as well.

EnviroPerfect Solutions is a company based out of Duffield and focuses on restoring the balance of life in both urban and agricultural land with the use of environmentally friendly products that are safe for everyone.

“We use a combination of different types of fertilizers, both organic and synthetic, then we add micro-organisms to the soil to help increase the top. We then feed them so they will grow on their own. We just want to kick start it and get the right species growing and then feed them,” said Penstone.

The fertilizers they use are not only food for the lawn, but they are food for the microorganisms as well, he added.

“We have farmers that after three to five years who have reduced their nitrogen level from 300 pounds an acre to 30 pounds an acre which is huge and they get better quality soil,” said Penstone

He said citizens have to look at the long-term effects of future children and the impact it is having on the health of people.

“People are starting to say the cost of the environment and our health is up in the air and there is a lot of research that says it is true,” said Penstone.

“Our goal is not to eliminate the use of fertilizer, but to focus on the vibrance of the soil. We give it something to eat and make sure the environment is the best we can possibly make it and the rest will happen on its own.”