Would you like to improve Riverbend landscaping for about $5 a month?

A simple drive down 18th Street can tell you that the Riverbend landscape is deteriorating. Compared to Ogden which has new flower pots near Safeway, or Quarry Park where Remington Corporation pays for landscaping, Riverbend certainly stands out and not necessarily in a good way. The downward aesthetics may impact the area’s crime rates and property values.

The northwest community of Hawkwood was the first in Calgary to take action about their languishing landscape and implemented a LEAF program in 2004. Visit for before and after photos.

Enhanced Landscape Maintenance (ELM) is now a common program offered by the CIty of Calgary that communities can participate in. Funding through ELM program allows communities to have direct control of all services it provides including more frequent mowing of medians and parks, flower planting or winter features, tree and shrub maintenance, spring and fall cleanups, and even irrigation. Under an ELM, the community is responsible for standard levels of service (funded through an operating grant) and additional enhancements. The ELM program is funded through an additional tax on each property owner’s property tax assessment.

Our neighbours in DouglasQuarry Community Association participate in ELM. The residents of Douglas Glen (about 1,000 households) pay an extra $59.13 per year (less than $5 per month).

In order to improve our deteriorating landscaping, 67% of Riverbend property owners would have to vote in favour to pay fees (added to property taxes) to be a part of the program.

Would you be willing to skip a $5 latte and see medians on 18th street (and other main streets) come back to life?

More information can be found at and search ‘ELM’.

We received a lot of positive feedback after publishing the above information in June 2019 issue of Riverbend Review.

In order to proceed with the ELM program for Riverbend the following is required:

  • strong volunteer Lead to take on coordination of the campaign and petition

  • campaign process needs to be designed so community members can decide what types of landscaping services they want to support with additional fees

  • petition process requires collecting signatures from homeowners in person

  • 67% of Riverbend property owners would have to vote in favour

  • once ELM program is in place volunteers would be required to oversee and manage ALL landscaping contracts for the community