City snow equipment gets new lease on life with community league program

Snow clearing is now a little easier for three Edmonton community leagues. 

The City has donated three dual-purpose riding machines good for cutting grass in the summer and clearing snow the rest of the year. 😉

“This donation is a demonstration of the spirit of community, where sharing important tools can make Edmontonians’ lives better,” said Laura Cunningham-Shpeley, executive director of the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues (EFCL). 

“We’re pleased to be able to connect neighbours with valuable resources to foster more vibrant neighbourhoods, and ultimately, a city.” 

Serious stuff ❄️ 

We’re not talking shovels here. 

Donated are one John Deere Model 1445 and two Model 1545 riding mowers. Each comes with a Cab, a 72-inch mowing deck attachment for mowing turfgrass and broom attachment for snow clearing. 

The equipment had been in the City fleet for almost a decade, helping to clear bridges and trails of snow in winter and to cut grass in parks in summer. The riding mowers—which have already been replaced with new versions as part of annual fleet management —needed a quick inspection before continuing their lives with the community leagues. 

Snow clearing is a community effort, says Andrew of Grant, City of Edmonton.

“Donating this equipment to EFCL will help improve the way people can move around their community and experience this winter city,” said Andrew Grant, General Supervisor, Infrastructure Field Operations, Parks & Roads Services.

“Effective and efficient snow clearing really takes a community effort.” 

S’no impact for City services

The donations do not mean that City crews themselves are using less equipment to clear snow out there. 

Every year, Fleet and Facility Services reviews the existing City fleet and determines which units have reached the end of their lifecycle. Operational teams then review that list and identify, using a variety of criteria, which ones can be taken out of service.

Every year some equipment is taken out of service and the decommissioned units are typically sold through auction.

City Snow and Ice Control crews deliver equipment to the Newton Community League.

Three communities

Newton, Prince Rupert and Aspen Gardens are the three community leagues to get the ride-on mowers. The EFCL took applications through 2020 and the communities were selected based on an assessment of need and overall benefit to the community.

Snow and Ice crews deliver equipment to Aspen Gardens Community League.

Community solutions 

The equipment donation was sparked by the 2019 Winter Walkway Symposium—a workshop run by the City and EFCL to explore ways to improve snow clearing services in communities. 

The City has also developed several other initiatives to assist with snow clearing in communities, including Snow Removal Grants for member leagues of the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues. 

In 2020-21, twenty $1,000 grants were issued for communities to assist the elderly and persons with disabilities in safely navigating community sidewalks.

Editor’s note: the pic showing masked smiles and joy at the top of the post shows Snow and Ice Control crews delivering equipment to the Prince Rupert Community League on January 15, 2021.

Angela Saxby, President, Prince Rupert Community League (left) and Edmonton 45/50+ Slo-Pitch Association rep Rick Patry (centre) with City of Edmonton crew mate Nick Hillaby (right).