City of Fernie Organic Soils Management Plan

Fernie BC - The City of Fernie is working towards an Organic Soils Management Plan. Last year, we heard from the public that there were concerns around the application of pesticides in the City. To assist us, the City has contracted EnviroPerfect Solutions of Duffield, AB to develop a soils health care program for turf management.

This three-year pilot project provides an organic method focused on improving soil health, better turf conditions and reduced need for pesticides on City properties. Additionally, the City has contracted Kootenay Worm Composting of Baynes Lake, BC to assist with organic applications and monitor the overall program. “We are committed to maintaining the safety of turf areas and ensuring that invasive weeds are controlled effectively,” states Brett Logan, Parks and Facilities Manager for the City. “By building up soil health, it is expected that ultimately invasive weed growth will be diminished and the safety of field users will be increased.”

Step 1 of the strategy will take place at the Max Turyk field on May 30th with an application of granular organic fertilizer and soil conditioners. This will provide nutrients for the turf as well as start to improve the nutrient and water retention in the soil. The fertilizer is completely organic, and the turf can be used immediately following application. An application of liquid organic conditioner will be applied in early July to encourage and support the development of a healthy soil food web.

Next, the program recommendation outlines the use of a pesticide treatment as a starting point to control excessive invasive or noxious weeds. Over the course of the program pesticide treatments may be required to drastically reduce heavy weed competition and allow for the turf to reestablish and thrive.

This project moves the City closer to achieving a healthier turf over time. The step-by-step process will be managed by the City in consultation with EnviroPerfect Solutions and Kootenay Worm Composting. The City remains committed to ensuring that our public spaces are safe and sustainable for long-term use and enjoyment