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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
I somehow completely neglected to include my closing remarks from last Thursday’s Park Board All-Candidates Meeting. Without further ado, here they are:
Iâ€™d like to share with you a vision of the future, that with your help, we can achieve.
In my vision, every Community Centre runs a community garden or two, where they teach their neighbours how to grow food in their own yards. Much of this food is given to the foodbank. People sell their own produce through a community-run growerâ€™s co-operative to supermarkets and restaurants throughout the city, sharing proceeds with the board and neighbours alike.
Children attend daycare that is the envy of the country, run in partnership with the School Board and our local colleges and universities. Older kids can learn to skate & ride in Park-Board-run skate & bike parks. Our senior citizens sit and read books with entranced children, in a veritable babel of languages, keeping our cultural diversity strong while integrating our elders firmly into the community.
Every community centre has a space where local artists can display and perform their work. Local musicians play all-ages-shows to raise money for the community centres & parks where they practiced long hours learning their instruments.
Letâ€™s make our parks and community centres not just facilities, but the heart and soul of our communities.
On September 20th, nominate Steven Tannock.
The Vancouver Courier’s Sandra Thomas has a summary write-up of potential Vision Vancouver Park Board nominees in this week’s edition. To date, Aaron Jasper, Sarah Blyth and myself are the stated Vision hopefuls. Constance Barnes is apparently still considering whether or not to run. With the nomination meeting now set for September, it’s heads-down time as we each set our agendas and find supporters. I’m thrilled to be running alongside such talented people, and look forward to working closely with them in the years to come.