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City of Red Deer

City offering first come-first served plant and mulch rebate for local gardeners

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From The City of Red Deer: Plant and Mulch Rebate Programs

Using native and drought-tolerant plants and permeable mulch in your home landscaping can save you time and money as your yard will require less watering and fertilizer.

New for 2019, The City of Red Deer is offering a Plant Rebate Program where residents who purchase plants that are native and/or drought-tolerant and plant them in their home landscaping can apply for a rebate of up to $50.

Application forms will be available:

New for 2019, The City of Red Deer is offering a Mulch Rebate Program where residents who purchase and install permeable mulch in their home landscaping can apply for a rebate of up to $50.

Who qualifies for a rebate?

You qualify if you:

  • Are a city of Red Deer resident
  • Have a City of Red Deer utility (water bill) account
  • Purchase a plant from the 2019 Qualifying Plants List (pdf) in the 2019 calendar year
  • Plant the approved plant on your own property located in the city of Red Deer
  • Include an original or copy of the receipt of your plant purchase. The receipt must clearly indicate the name of the store, product name, price and date of purchase. Your name must be clearly written on the receipt.
  • Include before and after photos of the landscaped area
  • Include photos of the plant, ensuring the photo includes a plant identifier tag or label

The program will run from June 10 to October 25, 2019. A limited number of rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis. A rebate of 50 per cent of the cost of approved plants, up to $50, is applied to your utility account. Please allow eight to twelve weeks for the credit to be applied to your account.

Maximum one plant rebate per utility account. Plants in pots or planters do not qualify.

How to select the right plants for my yard

  • Rebates are only provided for the purchase of plants that are identified on the City of Red Deer qualifying plants list. This list includes plants that adapt well to Red Deer’s local conditions and that are low maintenance.
  • When selecting plants and designing your yard consider the following:
  • Location: does the location get full sun, partial shade, or lots of shade?
  • Spacing: some plants grow high or spread out wide, plan the planting area for plant full maturity size.
  • Soil texture: Red Deer’s soil can range from black loam to heavy clay. Consider adding mulch, compost, or conditioners (like manure, sand and perlite) to improve drainage and growing conditions.
  • Soil pH and nutrient levels: some plants have specific pH and nutrient requirements. Select plants that can grow well in your soil’s current conditions. You may also work to adjust the pH and nutrient levels by using amendments like lime, compost, and slow-release organic fertilizers.
  • Climate: how hot and dry does your yard get during the growing season?

How to care for my plants

  • Applying mulch around your plants has multiple benefits, including conserving water, preventing weed growth, preventing soil erosion, and improving soil quality. Apply a layer of 2 to 4 inches of mulch, approximately 3 inches from the base of the plant. Apply for a mulch rebate today (see below).
  • Native and drought-tolerant plants require more water during their first year, to ensure that the root system is strongly established. Water 1-2 times per week spring and fall months, and 2-3 times per week during the summer months of July and August. Use rainwater to water your plants. Apply for a rain barrel rebate today.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why do before and after photos have to be taken?

Mulch that qualifies for a rebate must be used for the purpose of:

  • Conserving water in a landscaped area
  • Reducing erosion and stormwater pollution

Before and after photos demonstrate that the mulch was applied as landscaping or groundcover, rather than for cosmetic purposes.

Native/drought-tolerant plants that qualify for rebates must be used for the purpose of conserving water in a landscaped area. Before and after photos demonstrate that the plants were planted directly in the yard, rather than in pots or planters.

Why is there a qualifying plants list?

The qualifying plants list was developed to ensure that only non-invasive plants are purchased and planted. The list includes native and drought-tolerant plants that The City has determined grow well under local conditions and support the water conservation and water quality protection goals of the program.

Why can’t I receive a rebate for mulch or plants that were purchased prior to 2019?

There is a limited annual budget. Each year has its own budget and we want to ensure that as many residents have the opportunity to participate as possible.

How many rebates can I get? 

Maximum one (1) Plant Rebate and one (1) Mulch Rebate per utility account is permitted.

How many rebates are available? 

Funding is available for approximately 100 rebates in 2019. Rebates are issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

How long will it take for my rebate to be processed? 

A credit will be applied to your utility account within 8-12 weeks.

For more information, please contact environmental.initiatives@reddeer.ca or call 403-342-8750.

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City of Red Deer

50% of survey responders concerned with Red Deer’s crime rates

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City Hall

From The City of Red Deer

Red Deerians happy with quality of life but crime is top concern

Ninety-three per cent of Red Deerians say their overall quality of life is good or very good and overall satisfaction with municipal services remains high, according to the 2019 Citizen Satisfaction Survey released today.

“Red Deer is consistently described as a beautiful and friendly city with numerous amenities and an expansive trail system that citizens cite year after year as reasons why quality of life here is so good,” said Allan Seabrooke, City Manager. “Like any growing city, Red Deer is facing significant challenges, particularlyin regards to crime and social issues and these issues are top priority for The City.”

Eighty-three per cent of respondents said they receive very good or fairly good value for tax dollars. When asked about how The City should balance taxation and service delivery levels, 47 per cent of respondents supported increasing taxes, while 41 per cent of respondents favoured cutting services.

When asked about the change in quality of life, 15 per cent of respondents said things have improved, attributing a well-managed municipality, job opportunities and enjoyment of living in Red Deer for the increase. For those who said their quality of life had remained the same (43 per cent), or worsened (41 per cent), crime, unemployment and social issues were identified as the top reasons.

From the survey, the top issues facing our community are crime (50 per cent), social issues (23 per cent) and transportation (14 per cent).

“This annual survey is one tool City Council uses to identify and respond to citizens’ priorities,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “Crime has doubled in importance for Red Deerians this year compared to last year, and this issue will continue to remain City Council’s top priority until we see substantial improvements in the crimeand social challenges our community is contending with.”

Roads were identified as the highest priority for residents in terms of infrastructure (76 per cent), followed by water treatment facilities (69 per cent), recreation facilities (43 per cent), wastewater treat ment facilities (43 per cent), and the transit system (38 per cent).

The Citizen Satisfaction Survey was conducted over the phone by Ipsos Public Affairs between May 13 and 24, 2019, with a randomly selected sample of 300 Red Deer residents aged 18 years or older; 30 per cent of interviews were conducted on cell phones. The margin of error is +/-5.7%, 19 times out of 20.

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City of Red Deer

Hazlett Lake may be the greatest opportunity lost for the city of Red Deer

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Hazlett Lake

This opinion piece was submitted by Garfield Marks.

In cities around the world, man made lakes have been an economic diversification, city saviour, a tourist destination, and/or heat issue solution. Let us look at examples I found on google.

In 2000, when Jasmin Imamović became mayor of Tuzla, it was a dilapidated, swampy mining settlement short on prospects. Bosnia-Herzegovina’s third-largest city had suffered badly in the Bosnian war, and from recessions, low wages and exodus of people since. Solution was a man made lake.
Tuzla’s economy has also changed massively. The tourism and service industries are now its biggest sectors – a sharp change of direction for a city previously known for its coal plants and smoke-filled skies.
Other cities are also trying to boost their profile by artificially creating “natural” tourist attractions. The UAE’s Palm Jumeirah and The World, some of the world’s largest artificial islands, are an extreme example; a rather more considered effort is Barcelona’s beach at Barceloneta, created as part of the city’s facelift for the 1992 Olympic Games.
The beach, the Catalan capital’s largest, is credited with catapulting Barcelona into the top ranks of European travel destinations: the yearly number of visitors staying in hotels in the city rose from 1.7 million in 1990 to 8.9 million in 2017.
Amsterdam has also tried the fake beach approach, incorporating housing.
The Serpentine (also known as the Serpentine River) is a 40-acre (16 ha) recreational lake in Hyde Park, London, England was a venue for the men’s and women’s triathlon and marathon swimming events in the London 2012 Olympics
In Alberta; Echo Dale, the largest of Medicine Hat’s parks, is located a short distance west of .Medicine Hat… The park has two man-made lakes:
Henderson Lake Park is one of Lethbridge’s premier parks featuring a 24 hectare man made lake, mature trees and groves, gardens, picnic shelters, and recreational properties.

Red Deer has Hazlett Lake in a prime spot by Hwy 2, great for tourism, 100 acres for recreational activities, 2 miles of shoreline for beaches, locate the Aquatic Centre there and you would have a premier tourist destination and residents could have a staycation..
We would not have to spend millions building a man made lake, we have the real thing.

 

SO:

Why did the city after discussing with a few members of the Red Deer Naturalists think that leaving such an opportunity  dormant, was a good economical idea?  Why not make some beaches? Why not develop this tourist attraction possibility? Incorporate the new Aquatic Centre.Why just build housing?
While other cities are investing millions in building artificial lakes, we are building homes to hide our very own natural lake.
A lot of words have been written about our state of affairs in Red Deer. The fall-out from a depressed economy, being in a bust portion of a boom-bust cycle. Talk of diversifying our economy away from our continued reliance on the energy sector.  Words are not actions, and it is worrisome. Is it fear or lack of vision that impedes us from following up on the words?
No matter how we dress it up, Red Deer is stagnant with growth at about 1% over 3 years, after population loss. Blame the economy, the stars or any number of reasons but it could have been different. Lethbridge is now more populated than Red Deer and Lethbridge is growing in this economy. Lethbridge invested and is still investing in areas appealing to young families including recreational facilities. Lethbridge has a history of investing in facilities to encourage growth, education and tourism. They turned a man made slough into Henderson Lake Park and has never looked back.
Red Deer has a greater opportunity in having a real natural lake. Will Red Deer build a park? NO, they will  plan on houses, and apartment buildings that may never get built, unless we go into a boom portion of the boom-bust cycle. This is the simplistic, easiest and safest plan with a low return on investment. It ignores the high-profile location and possibilities of the lake, but it has less risk. A wall of residences will be built to hide the lake from Hwy 2.
Remember, Hazlett Lake is a natural lake that covers a surface area of 0.45 km2 (0.17 mi2), has an average depth of 3 meters (10 feet). Hazlett Lake has a total shore line of 4 kilometers (2 miles).  It is 108.8 acres in size. Located in the north-west sector of Red Deer.

Red Deer has seen mass exodus of population over the years before seeing a very modest growth of about 1% over 3 years. The handling of Hazlett Lake or lack of vision for Hazlett Lake may be an example. How many Red Deer residents drive to Sylvan Lake and pay $10 parking to sit and swim in a lake? We have a lake but we wouldn’t think of building a beach anywhere along the 2 mile coastline. Let Red Deer residents drive to Sylvan Lake and spend their money there.
Lethbridge took a man-made slough and created Henderson Lake Park, a highly regarded tourist attraction. We will put a trail around our lake. Red Deer residents can go to Sylvan Lake to go to a beach.
We have several planned neighbourhoods that are sitting undeveloped or unfilled so this residential development they are proposing for Hazlett Lake, may never get built. What is the draw? We are creating new neighbourhoods, faster than we are growing, why?
Why not look at how we can invite growth to fill the empty lots we have now? Every town and city has lots for sale but how many have a lake, a natural lake with 4 kms. of shoreline?
We have an opportunity here with Hazlett Lake to create something, a destination, an attraction, will we let it slip through our fingers? Apparently it may be too late. Thanks city hall.

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july, 2019

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