Lawn Mowing and Cutting – Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

Mowing of parks, pathways and green spaces in the Urban Service Area is done through contracts with third-party service providers. Parks tracks grass mowing and mowing progress and confirms daily reports provided by contracted service providers. Zones are prioritized based on park classification (size, service area, and amenities) and maintenance required for use.

Priority Zone 1 locations are large parks (such as regional parks) and are maintained on a seven-day cycle. Priority Area 2 locations are processed on a 14-day rotating cycle.

Beyond Priority Zone 1 and 2 locations, the RMWB contracts with service providers for mowing and grass cutting of trails, firebreaks and sports fields. Birchwood trails are maintained by RMWB staff.

See the overview of mowing in community parks and green spaces:

Priority 1 areas: High profile parks

The following are examples of Priority 1 areas:

  • Heritage Village and Shipyard
  • Municipal cemeteries (3)
  • Helen Pacholko Park
  • Syncrude Sports Park
  • Timberlea Community Park
  • Snye Point Park
Priority 2 zones: Green spaces

The following are examples of priority 2 areas:

  • General green spaces (Lions Park, J. Howard Pew Park, etc.)
  • Schoolyards
  • Public utility lots
  • Municipal reserve
  • Right-of-way/right-of-way
Priority 3 zones: Trails

Class 1, 2 and 3 trails are mowed with a one meter buffer zone to provide a safe recreational environment and protect plant assets that encroach on trail networks. Examples include:

  • Abasand Perimeter Trail
  • Lynx Trail at Eagle Ridge
  • Ross Hennigar Trail
Priority 4 areas: Firewall

Firebreaks are designed to be a 30 meter buffer zone maintained twice per summer season. Typically, this maintenance is done in July and September to maintain emergency access, if needed. Fire screens are designed to receive minimal maintenance, as the types of grass chosen are low-growing, slow-growing varieties that must go to seed to propagate. This allows for a fuel-free buffer zone between wooded areas and residential/commercial properties.

Maintaining these areas more frequently would negatively affect the growth and effectiveness of these assets.

Examples of firewalls include areas behind:

  • Walnut Croissant
  • Willowherb crescent
  • Heritage route
  • Path of the Killdeer
  • Athabasca Avenue
Priority areas 5: sports fields

Class 2 and 3 fields are generally school fields which are not irrigated and are maintained according to user group reservations. These sites are usually mowed twice a week.

Class 1 pitches are irrigated sand-based sports pitches that require high levels of maintenance. These are usually shorn three times a week and given boundary lining and grooming.

Class 1 fields include:

  • Syncrude Athletic Park baseball, soccer and cricket pitches
  • Howard Pew Baseball and Football Fields
  • Westwood Rugby Ground

Challenges for mowing and grass cutting operations in the RMWB

Water and drainage

Some challenges with maintaining the RMWB’s 450+ hectares of turf are variable soil conditions, which can be affected by weather, groundwater, drainage, private sump pumps, and construction projects. . These variables can slow down the maintenance process because contracted service providers do not want to damage green spaces when mowing in fragile or compromised areas.


For obvious safety reasons, grass cutting and mowing is suspended in areas under construction until construction activities are completed, inspected and the area is returned to operation.

Rights-of-way and vacant land

Unmaintained rights-of-way and private vacant lots allow the spread of weeds and unwanted materials into green spaces and other private properties. Landlords are responsible for preventing the spread of excessive, noxious or prohibited weeds on their property. Likewise, owners must keep grass below 15 centimeters in height, as stated in Community Standards Regulation No 21/010.

Questions? Concerns?

If you have a question about mowing and mowing grass in the RMWB, or an issue you would like to report, please call PULSE at 780-743-7000 or call toll-free at 1-800-973-9663.