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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 [email protected] or call 403-342-8750.

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City of Red Deer

City introduces new phone number to report non-emergency mental health, addiction, or homeless issues

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New streamlined way to reach Red Deer’s Social Diversion Team

Since launching in 2021, the Social Diversion Team (SDT) has been responding to calls throughout Red Deer for individuals in need of non-emergency support, whether experiencing mental health struggles, addictions issues, or homelessness.

Beginning March 1, 2024, the community will need to call the non-emergency police line at 403-406-2200 to connect with the Social Diversion Team. This move from the previous 2-1-1 call line will improve the caller’s ability to quickly connect with a Police Communications Operator who can quickly determine the nature of the call and dispatch the appropriate resources in a timely and efficient manner.

“This change simplifies calling and dispatching the Social Diversion Team,” said Peter Puszka, Municipal Policing Services Superintendent. “Red Deerians now need to remember only one contact number for all non-emergency community safety concerns and our experienced, well-trained Police Communications Operators can assess the circumstances of the call, determine which resource is appropriate and dispatch accordingly.”

Though the Alberta 2-1-1 has been the dispatching service since the onset of the program, the move to internal dispatching will simplify the call-in process, removing barriers like pre-recorded messaging and on-hold wait times, improve internal communication between the dispatchers and the responding Social Diversion Team, and allow for operators with local community knowledge to provide enhanced response.

While the phone number has changed, all other elements of the program remain the same. The two-person Social Diversion Team consists of a Licensed Practical Nurse and a Social Diversion Specialist, who respond to reports of individuals in distress. The team connects clients with the social services they need, such as housing supports, mental health supports, detox programs and harm reduction resources.

“We are excited to continue providing individuals with the right response at the right time,” says Ryan Veldkamp, Social Wellness & Integration Supports Superintendent. “We know that not every call is an emergency call, and that’s why the Social Diversion Team is the right choice for these situations where individuals are in crisis. The team continues to allow our first responders to concentrate on responding to critical medical emergencies and criminal matters.”

In its three years of operation, the SDT has averaged a response rate of 185 events per month or approximately 6 calls a day. The teams use their specialized training to provide assessment, intervention and support to those in need.

Stephanie MacDonald, Outreach and Housing Services Manager for Safe Harbour Society said, “The Social Diversion Team is very excited for this change over and believes that this will allow for a more effective and timely response.”

While the SDT continues to operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., 7 days a week, the 24/7 non-

emergency line will dispatch the SDT based on their availability, or utilize other policing and medical services when they are not.

To learn more about the Social Diversion Team, visit www.reddeer.ca/SDT.

When Should I call the Social Diversion Team?

If you see someone who is:

  • Experiencing a mental health or medical (non-emergency) crisis
  • Intoxicated or otherwise impaired
  • Requiring transport to appropriate services (i.e. a shelter)
  • Sleeping in an unsafe space and/or inappropriately dressed for the weather
  • Requiring social services (i.e. housing, nutrition, health or community supports)
  • Likely to come to harm without intervention

And the individual is not posing an immediate harm to themselves or others, call 403-406-2200

The team’s hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. However, the non-emergency (403-406-2200) line is operated 24/7. Outside of the Social Diversion team operating hours, callers will be provided with either a community referral, crisis intervention support, connected to 911, or offered a follow-up.

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Addictions

City Council decides to close Red Deer’s Overdose Prevention Site

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City Council requests the Province of Alberta make changes to OPS in Red Deer

City Council made decisions (Friday) related to Red Deer’s Overdose Prevention Site (OPS), requesting the Government of Alberta (GOA):

  • formalize an orderly transition of the existing OPS out of Red Deer by the end of 2025;
  • provide in its place greater harm reducing options within our community that focus on health, wellness, and recovery, including more detox capacity, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), recovery coaches, counsellors, and culturally appropriate health and wellness supports, etc.;
  • provide dedicated grant funding to provide a continuous police presence/enforcement in the immediate vicinity of the OPS and temporary shelter, until the crime and social disorder impacts associated with these provincial services are better mitigated for the safety and security of our public;
  • substantially increase front-line supports for mental health and addictions within our community/region to better address the root causes leading to drug and alcohol addictions.

These decisions stem from a Notice of Motion put forward by Councillor Higham on December 18, 2023. After being read into the record on January 22, 2024, a non-statutory public hearing was scheduled for yesterday, February 15, 2024. Approximately 40 members of the public attended the non-statutory public hearing, with approximately 30 individuals speaking to the Notice of Motion, sharing their thoughts on the issue.

After hearing from the public yesterday, City Council debated the motion today, with Mayor Ken Johnston now having City Council direction to take the issue forward to the province and proceed with advocacy efforts.

“The public hearing and the debate of this motion were harrowing and emotional experiences for everyone. Each of us have been touched in some way by addiction; we heard that very clearly, and I am no exception. We heard heartfelt testimony from many members of our community, citizens, some who use the OPS, some who are service providers in the community, business owners, doctors, family members that have lost loves ones, and more,” said Mayor Johnston. “Council approached this most sensitive of issues with open minds, open ears, and open hearts. We are trying to improve lives for those suffering from addiction. This is a complex challenge, as these are areas where municipalities do not have jurisdiction. What we know is that Red Deer needs robust support from the provincial government for people with addictions; we need support for our community that is grappling with the fallout of addictions; and we need that support in the most immediate way.”

Mayor Johnston added, “Following this meeting, I will reach out to the Ministry of Addictions and Mental Health to book meetings where we can discuss how to move forward in the best interest of our city.”

Currently the OPS is located 5246 53 Avenue in downtown Red Deer.

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