The City of Barrie has a policy regulating gardening on the municipal boulevard, the area of city-owned land between the homeowner’s front property line and the street curb.
The policy arises from increasing efforts by residents to beautify their streetscape. The attractive gardens contribute to Barrie’s success as a winning community in the international municipal beautification contest Communities In Bloom, which recognizes the efforts of municipalities, corporations and individual citizens who are striving to improve their community through horticulture, heritage and the environment.
Homeowners are required to register their boulevard garden with the City and agree to follow guidelines. Registration ensures that the homeowner is provided with the guidelines and gives the City a chance to notify about scheduled construction within their boulevard so the homeowner has time to salvage plants before construction begins. Note: no notice can be given for emergency works.
There is no cost to register. Once the resident submits a signed Guidelines & Registration Form to Service Barrie they are free to begin their garden (Suggested Plant List).
Following the guidelines helps reduce taxpayer costs for damages to City maintenance vehicles, staff time, and avert potential injuries. Those interested in adding to the beauty of their neighbourhood may also find that their boulevard garden is a stop on the Communities in Bloom tour.
Property owners are encouraged to maintain the standard turf grass municipal boulevard in front of their property. Property owners wishing to install alternatives to sod shall follow the non-standard boulevard landscape treatment guidelines.
Guidelines for Non-standard Boulevard Treatments
Muskoka Gardens is the term the City of Barrie uses to promote the use of native and low-water use plants that thrive in our climate. There are a great variety of plants that require only the water that Mother Nature provides in order to survive.
Some advantages of native plants are listed below:
The City of Barrie has a reference book on water efficiency that includes information on planning and designing your low-water use garden and types of plants that you can use in the garden. The book also has information on water efficiency at your home and is available at City Hall, the Pollution Control Centre, the City Operations Centre and Home Depot.
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