Parks News

Find below a list of happenings in Okotoks parks and open spaces. Check back here for updates.

Tree cutting, fort building, bike jump building, or camp fires not permitted in Parks.

If you see tree cutting, fort building, bike jump building, or camp fires in our river valley or natural area, please report to Municipal Enforcement 403-938-8913.

These activities are environmentally destructive and not permitted in parks. We appreciate citizens’ eyes on the park!

Tree Banding 
April 10, 2017

Photo Credit:  Okotoks Online

Ash tree banding is in progress on public trees throughout town to control western ash bark beetle. This insect lays eggs in the canopy of the tree in the spring and the larvae chew the wood just underneath the bark causing branches to die back.

The banding is a wrap of foil-backed insulation brushed with insect-trap, which is a non-toxic sticky substance used to trap the adult bark beetles as they crawl up the trunk to prevent them from laying eggs. Banding is installed in April and removed in July.  

We are asking people to please not touch the traps but if you do, warm water, soap and scrubbing will remove any sticky residue.

For further information contact our Urban Forester at 403-938-8958.

European Elm Scale Management Program
 
European elm scale is an insect that feeds on the stems (twigs & branches) of elm trees. If left unmanaged it can cause significant branch die back and in some cases may cause death.

Cultural tools of our management program includes planning tree species diversity in the urban forest, applying mulch to encourage growth, spraying dormant oil, and pressure washing the scale off the stems with non-potable water. In conjunction with our cultural practices we do pesticide trunk injections with a natural insecticide derived from neem oil from the seeds of neem trees.

Pressure washing and tree injections of elms takes place in spring (April – June).

Dormant oil applications are done in the fall after leaf drop (September – November).

For more information please contact the Urban Forester at 403-938-8958 or parks@okotoks.ca

Town of Okotoks'
​Cemetery Annual Clean Up Notice

 

In order to maintain the appearance of our cemetery and ensure the safety of visitors and employees, Parks staff has started Cemetery Spring Clean-Up.

This clean up includes: litter control, seeding and leveling of interment sites, and removing all non-approved memorabilia throughout the cemetery that do not meet the requirements of the Cemetery By-law 26-84.  This bylaw states:

  1.  No person shall: 
    1.  place or deposit any glass encased wreath or any stand, holder, vase, receptacle, jar, bottle, or pot made of glass on any lot; 
  • We ask that family members clear the area around your family burial plot(s) to facilitate ongoing maintenance this season.
  • Collected items, other than perishable or deteriorated items, will be stored if not claimed, until mid-June.

Thank you for your cooperation! It is greatly appreciated.

For additional information regarding this event, please contact the Cemetery Administration Office by email at cemetery@okotoks.ca or by phone at 403-938-8958.

Goldfish in storm ponds

Don't Dump your Fish or any other pets for that matter!

Goldfish are now present in at least two ponds in Okotoks. The fish were likely deposited by residents  with backyard ponds not wanting to overwinter the fish. This is becoming a common occurrence throughout the province and the fish are managing to overwinter and reproduce. Non-native fish and associated pathogens may pose a threat to native ecosystems and aquatic species. 

Mosquitos Parks has a mosquito monitoring and control program. Treatment is a water release into shallow surface waters on public lands with Bacillus
thuringiensis,
a natural soil bacterium that kills mosquito larvae, but is  otherwise safe for aquatic ecosystems. Monitoring has revealed that storm ponds are not the source of mosquito populations, but rather roadside ditches and other shallow surface waters. Residents can help by emptying out standing water in their own yards from plant trays, kids toys. Also be sure to unblock rain gutters and put screens on rain barrels.
Forest Tent Caterpillars

Forest Tent Caterpillars appear to be present this year in higher numbers than what is typical for our region. They primary host is trembling aspen but will also feed on other trees. In town we are seeing them on Schubert chokecherry, mayday, hawthorn and crabapple trees.

They tend to cluster so they can be physically destroyed or removed quite easily if they are in reach. A strong blast of water can also effectively remove them. We have also noticed natural mortality due to parasitoids so pesticides are strongly discouraged so natural predators are not killed treating the caterpillars.

In small numbers they will defoliate some leaves but it shouldn't have a significant impact. Reduced growth can result if the tree is being close to or completely defoliated, otherwise the impact of this pest is minimal.  

Flowering Trees 

What are these beautiful flowering trees?

Image result for prairie fire crabapple

They are crabapples. White flowering Dolgo crabapples provide larger fruit worth preserving, whereas the pink ornamental crabapples provide very small fruit more suitable for birds. Before you buy one for your yard, do know these trees are highly susceptible to fireblight, a deadly tree disease common to Okotoks. Consider purchasing Japanese Tree Lilac or Ohio Buckeye instead for similar size and ornamental floral displays. 

 

Contact