Weeds, Invasive Species & Gardening

If you see Noxious or Prohibited Noxious weeds on public property in Cochrane, please notify Parks and Open Spaces at Parks@cochrane.ca. 

Alberta Weed Control Act

If you see  Provincially regulated weeds  on your property, please remove them. Weeds can be removed by pulling, digging, mowing or treating them with an appropriate product to reduce spread.   Regulated weeds must be bagged and thrown into your black bin for disposal.

Under the Alberta Weed Control Act   you are responsible for controlling noxious weeds and destroying prohibited weeds on your property. In addition, the Nuisance and Unsightly Premises Bylaw requires you to control messy yards. Fines start at $300.

You can report regulated weeds on private property to Municipal Enforcement at peace.officers@cochrane.ca or if you see regulated weeds on town property, please report to Parks and Open Spaces at parks@cochrane.ca.  Please include as much information as possible including pictures.

You can learn more by reading the provincial Weed Control Act or visiting the Alberta Invasive Species Council website.


Parks & Open Spaces Maintenance of Regulated weeds

We work hard to protect our parks and open spaces from invasive species. Parks and Open Spaces standard operating procedures, in compliance with the Alberta Weed Control Act and Cochrane’s Nuisance and Unsightly Premises Bylaw, help protect and enhance Cochrane's natural environments.

These procedures take a pest management and vegetation-focused approach to protect the local environment. This approach combines cultural, mechanical and chemical practices, which can include: 

  • fertilizing, aerating or other turf care cultural practices
  • cutting or trimming
  • applying herbicide 

Whenever possible, we avoid chemical application and have set high thresholds for treating weed infestations. If possible, chemical use is limited to spot-spraying a single application per site, per target pest, annually.  We only use products that are approved by Health Canada for use in residential areas. Treatments are advertised in advance of application, and signs are posted for 48 hours after application.


Weed Pull for Cash

Get involved! Local groups, teams and charitable organizations can apply for our Weed Pull for Cash program, to help control weeds and reduce invasive species in Cochrane. After successfully completing a weed pull, we will donate $300 to your group. We will provide training and bags to remove collected materials.

Apply here:  Weed Pull for Cash


Eligibility and participation 

Groups must be an accredited and legitimate organization that is based in Cochrane, with 50 per cent of active members living in town.

Groups must also provide:

  • a description of how the donation will benefit their group
  • three options for dates when the group is available for two hours (between July and September, Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
  • at least 12 volunteers (certain age restrictions apply)

Once a group’s application is approved, they will meet with a Parks and Open Spaces representative at a specified time and location for training.


Gardening and other activities

Cochrane takes pride in its parks, pathways and open spaces. No gardening or other activity is allowed on Town land unless authorized. This helps our staff preserve the natural beauty, native elements and overall integrity and safety of these areas.

Property owners who appear to be gardening or otherwise encroaching on a Town park, pathway or open space are required to remedy the situation at their own expense.

Not sure if you’re encroaching? If it’s outside your fence, it’s Town land.

Encroachment activities include (but are not limited to):

  • planting/garden add-ons of any sort
  • mowing/spraying/fertilizing grass
  • dumping of organic and inorganic material
  • erecting fences, rock walls or other barriers
  • storing vehicles/equipment    
  • placing composters/sheds/bird houses