The city’s mowing crews are riding back into action with gusto amid concerns that Canberra’s public spaces have become overgrown – with potential safety problems for road users.
Traffic intersections will be the first priority for the Transport Canberra and City Services mowing crews who returned from the festive break this week to find the grass had grown rapidly while they were away.
“The hot weather and rainfall in late 2018 has helped fuel grass growth across our city,” Acting Director of City Presentation, Michael Brice said.
“In addition to the weekly mowing cycle and to help get on top of the excessive growth, we will have more than 25 mowers working overtime this Saturday and again the following Saturday. If the dry conditions continue, we expect to get on top of the recent growth in the coming weeks.”
The ACT Government is responsible for mowing approximately 4,697 hectares of irrigated and non-irrigated grass in urban open spaces, sportsgrounds and at the urban edge.
There is a base mowing fleet of 73 mowers which is supported throughout the mowing season by contract mowers.
Mr Brice said that after focusing on traffic intersections, the mowing crews will target parks and green spaces on shared paths.
“Of particular concern is the ongoing problem of African Lovegrass (ALG) which is the source of much of the long grass, particularly along main roads,” Mr Brice said.
“ALG can grow very rapidly after being cut, particularly in response to rain and may throw seed heads as tall as 600mm within two to three weeks giving affected parts of the city an untidy and unkempt appearance shortly after mowing.
“To help restrict the spread of ALG, strategies are being developed that include modified mowing practices and additional herbicide spraying, particularly adjacent to high-value conservation areas,” he said.
“TCCS will be expanding the current program in areas that adjoin native grasslands and nature reserves, and will implement a reduction and containment program along main roads to help restrict the spread to non-infested areas.
“We are hopeful that our expanded containment program will, over time, work to reduce the opportunity for this weed to threaten our high-value conservation areas and further extend into open space areas.”
For more information about the city’s mowing program please click here.
Have you been concerned about any overgrown public spaces? Let us know in the comments below.