LEAF Program

Making our community beautiful!

** LEAF has been in effect for the past 15 years.  The 5 year LEAF RENEWAL Vote has passed!  Thanks to everyone who voted.  We had a 100% vote in favour.  The next renewal vote will be April 2028 **

The LEAF (Landscape Enhancement and Appreciation Fund) Committee is in charge of the Community’s Beautification Program.  Updates are available during the Spring, Summer and Fall months in the Valley Breeze newsletter.

In November, residents receive via mail a Notice of a Special Tax Levy (the Beautification Levy) from the City of Calgary, which is applied to all properties in Valley Ridge and is collected via Property Taxes.

The current charge for the 2024 and onwards season for the LEAF program is $67.53/year.


LEAF Renewal Votes

Every 5 years, the Community holds a renewal vote for our beautification program.  We ask the residents either attend in person, or send in a proxy vote.  In order for your vote to count, you must also include your Photo ID (Driver’s License) and a copy of your current Property Tax Assessment.

Only homeowners are able to vote, and only 1 vote per property is permitted.

What if the LEAF Renewal Vote doesn’t pass?

If the LEAF program isn’t passed at the LEAF renewal vote, the program continues until a member of the “NO” votes organizes a petition to go door-to-door to collect 67% of the community’s signatures against the LEAF program.  This is an identical process our community undertook to implement the program in 2008.  Once those signatures have been successfully collected, the LEAF program would end.  Until that time, the LEAF program would continue on.

What LEAF Covers and What it Doesn’t

LEAF covers: Maintenance of turf, shrub beds, flower beds, tree wells, irrigation, litter control, curb sweeping, Spring/Fall clean up.

LEAF doesn’t cover: Removal maintenance or replacement of trees, natural areas, playgrounds, lamp posts, mailboxes, signs, fences, private property, snow removal anywhere in the community, community garden, community facilities, garbage pick up in bear bins.

LEAF Actuals 2022 

Starting VRCA Bank Balance-$77,698.37

City Operating Budget 2022-$53,635.00

Valley Ridge Special Tax Levy-$122,908.00

Carry Over from previous year-$51,996.00

Grand total Funds available-$306,237.37

Expenditures (All LEAF activities)-$121,047.41

Amount available for Capital Expenditures-$186,114.00

Budget for 2023


$369,925- This includes: the Capital that we have saved over the years of construction, the City Operating Grant for 2023 and the collected Special Tax Levy amount.  


$86,940  Landscaping- Everything Grass

$47,670 Gardeners- Everything Flowers

$43,875 Extras outside of contract- (IPM, Fertilizer, Shrub beds, watering)

$200 Admin fees

Total Expenses expected in 2023- $183,272

$183,811- The Budget we have for regular maintenance- Operating Grant plus the Special Tax Levy amount.

$186,114- The amount we can spend for capital projects after construction is complete.

We do not expect to have carryover in the future, as we have projected to spend our full budget each year.  Our carry over amount has been collected due to the entryway not receiving the flowers, maintenance, mowing or general upkeep since construction has began.  Once we have negotiated the return of the entryway to our care, the capital will be spent on landscaping the traffic circle and surrounding area.


The following are some frequently asked questions about the Valley Ridge Landscape Enhancement and Appreciation Fund (LEAF).  This program is known with the City of Calgary as the ELM program. (Enhanced Landscape Maintenance) For more information, please read the Valley Breeze,  or email [email protected]

What is the VR Community LEAF Program?

LEAF is short for Landscape Enhancement and Appreciation Fund. 

Why is this neighbourhood beautification program necessary?

Valley Ridge was showing its age.  Fiscal restraints on the City’s Parks Department restricts their ability to provide the kind of enhanced maintenance and beautification program proposed by our Community Association.  One way to help beautify and maintain Valley Ridge is through a program like this.

  • Valley Ridge has clay-based soil, which hampers the growth of plants.  Top soil, fertilizing, aerating, overseeding and watering has been done each year to facilitate grass health.  Removal of old soil and replenishment with new has been undertaken in all flower beds. 


  • We estimate that it would take less than 2 years before the community’s public green spaces would revert to the 2008 conditions. 


  • Approximately 95% of all received anti-LEAF comments have been over non-LEAF related issues. Some confusion over the responsibilities of LEAF.

What kind of maintenance is done?

The level of maintenance and enhancement that we have achieved is mirrored in other communities with this program, such as The Hamptons, Hawkwood, Citadel, Douglasdale and Christie Estates, to name a few.  Medians and boulevards are maintained at a higher level of care.  Sports fields, tot lots, pathway green spaces, medians and boulevards are watered, mowed and maintained well above current standards.  Trees can be watered to provide optimum health and vigour.  Tree wells are edged and weeded.  Park shrub beds are manicured and weeded regularly.  Shrub and flower beds greet us on boulevards and our main entrance.  Any landscaping implemented in our new traffic circle would receive enhanced care and maintenance too.

What areas of Valley Ridge are improved?

All of Valley Ridge’s public green spaces, boulevards and main entrance are given priority.  Flowers are added to all main areas. 

Who will maintain the beautification program?

The contractor can be any City approved landscape contractor.  Currently, we use EYC Landscaping for our mowing and maintenance, and Pixie Gardens for our gardening/flower needs.

What is the term of this program?  Is it locked in?

Yes it is locked in.  The term of this program is five years.  Renewal is subject to continuing community support for the levy at the end of five years.

What happens if we as a community are not happy?  Can this program be reversed?

The landscape contract will be reviewed annually with necessary changes made.  Input from residents is welcome.  The Beautification Program can be cancelled if residents petition the community and determine that two thirds of the residents want to cancel.

Will we be spraying more herbicides on our green spaces?

The City is trying to decrease the use of herbicides.  Healthy lawns are the best, natural prevention against weeds.  The beautification program will improve the grass in Valley Ridge, which should decrease weeds in public areas.  Non-chemical herbicides on noxious weeds can also be used as an alternative under this program.

How can I find out more information about this program?

Visit our website at www.vrca.community.  You are encouraged to attend the upcoming AGM on April 20, and other community meetings and participate in the organization of the program.  Check the website for upcoming meeting information.  

How much will we pay for the program?

For only $65.56 per year, Valley Ridge residents will enjoy a higher level of green space maintenance.  This is added to your annual property tax bill.  

Will the cost be the same every year?  Can it be increased without a subsequent approving petition?

The cost can increase each year, but only by the rate of inflation determined by the City.  Currently this is a maximum of 3% per year.  The cost can also decrease if the dollar amount collected proves to be too much for whatever reason.  The beautification committee will be accountable to the community for any increase or decrease that is required and will keep residents informed via the AGM, Valley Breeze and the website.

Does this special tax go directly to the beautification program?

Yes, this special tax levy goes directly to the beautification program.  It is managed through the VRCA and administered by the Valley Ridge volunteer committee, along with City oversight.  

Is this a non-profit program?

Absolutely.  This is definitely a non-profit program (neither the City nor the CA make a profit from the levy collected).  The goal of the program is to create value for residents by enhancing the community we all live in.

How will this affect my property value?

The positive affects are evident in neighbourhoods where these programs exist.  Property values increase as buyers see well-maintained neighbourhoods.  Homeowners are inspired to take care of their property.  Vandalism can decline as examples of neighbourhood pride and care are noticed.  Neighbours can walk and jog through their own community, appreciating the beauty and pride of a well-loved neighbourhood.

Do I have to contribute if my vote is “No”?

All homeowners contribute through their property tax.  This is not an optional contribution as all homes in Valley Ridge benefit through the program.

What if I live in a rental property, can I vote?

No, only homeowners can vote in the process.

Inquiries can be emailed to:  [email protected]