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Wet conditions causing slight delays for City of Lethbridge crews to mow boulevards, parks

The wet start to May has the City of Lethbridge's parks department delayed mowing in the city. The wet start to May has the City of Lethbridge's parks department delayed mowing in the city.
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LETHBRIDGE -

The wet start to May has the City of Lethbridge's parks department delayed mowing in the city.

"We've had lots of rain the last few weeks and that's obviously causing the grass to grow a little bit quicker than normal," said Blair Richter, the city's general manager of parks and cemeteries.

Boulevards and green spaces are looking much greener than normal for this time of the year, and that greenery is also looking much longer than normal – in some places over two feet tall.

"With those wet conditions, it makes it tough for us to get out and mow," Richter said.

"If we mow when it's too wet, it can cause turf damage or even damage to our equipment, so we have to schedule around that."

The city maintains more than 130 parks and natural areas in the city, covering nearly 3,000 hectares.

"For our regular, manicured parks, we try to mow once a week and for a lot of these buffers or along the roadways, we only mow them about once every month," Richter said.

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, nearly 90 millimetres of rain fell in May.

Each summer, the city sends out 19 mowers to manicured spaces, while another five are tasked with cutting dry land and buffer spaces.

"We want to keep our sports fields trimmed at the highest priority and during spring cleanup, we have to clean up all the litter and debris, which can also delay some of the mowing that takes place," Richter said.

Richter says as the temperatures warm up into the summer, the grass won't need to be mowed as often.

But until then, he's asking residents to be understanding.

"Staff are catching up as best as possible and working through the conditions we currently have," he said.

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