Don’t turf my grass! Please sign these petitions against Park Board staff recommendations

As some of you know, I sit on the board of the VUL. We are currently looking at an issue that certainly affects the ultimate players in the city, but also, virtually all players of field sports. The issue at hand is a proposal to put turf fields in at both Memorial & Jericho Parks at the upcoming meeting this Monday, February 1st. This development proposal goes against the recommendations of the Vancouver Field Sports Federation (VFSF), an association of various sports leagues that utilize fields in the city. The VFSF has been working for the past 6 months with the city to develop alternate locations, but, as a result of Federal Stimulus money, the Park Board staff has seen fit to throw out all that community involvement and press ahead with these poor options.

NB: I’m writing this as a matter of personal opinion, not the official stance of the board of the VUL.

I ask you all to please view & sign the following petitions AGAINST putting turf on these fields:

The reasons for not wanting turf on these fields a numerous. Here are my major reasons for not wanting this to go ahead:

  1. This proposal flies in the face of 6 months of community consultation and goes directly against the recommendation of the primary users of these fields, the VFSF. It makes a mockery of the very idea of community consultation by the Park Board.
  2. These 2 fields constitute some of the nicest, smoothest sports-grass in the entire city. There are literally dozens of other parks we play in which would be more suitable to replace poorly-draining grass with turf, not to mention potentially upgrading school grounds with turf.
  3. The decision process on this development is being artificially rushed by the presence of federal stimulus money that requires that these “shovel-ready” projects be completed this calendar year. It is not a good idea to rush a decision that will have this large an impact just because of funding. In many ways, I’d rather see no new turf fields than see these 2 fields developed.