Vancouver Park Board to consider allowing more grass areas to grow long

Mar 8 2021, 2:31 pm

More of the grassy areas at public parks and open spaces under the jurisdiction of the Vancouver Park Board could be allowed to grow longer.

During this evening’s Park Board public meeting, a motion by Green Party commissioner Dave Demers is calling for the creation of an implementation plan to defer and reduce the frequency of mowing schedules for select grassy areas, based on the type and usage of the space.

The Park Board has already implemented COVID-19 temporary changes that decrease mowing frequencies in certain areas, but Demers wants the impact of the interim practices tracked for the establishment of permanent protocols with incremental targets.

In his motion, Demers argues cutting down the scope of maintenance work could reduce the Park Board’s operational costs, and lower the noise and greenhouse gas emissions from the usage of engined mowing equipment.

He also suggests that long grassy areas could provide more habitats and food sources for birds and insects.

According to Demers, the Park Board deems about 300 hectares (741 acres) of the 1,360 hectares (3,361 acres) of Vancouver’s parks and open spaces to be non-irrigated areas with limited or no mowing. Approximately 100 hectares (247 acres) are high-use, irrigated turf on soil or sand, 484 hectares (1,196 acres) are high-use, non-irrigated turf, and about one hectare (2.5 acres) are “meadows” that are mowed high and irregularly.

One such area where grass is allowed to grow long for a “meadow” is at Memorial Park West in the Dunbar neighbourhood.

The Park Board also cut its grass-cutting expenditures a decade ago to save costs during budgetary issues.

Tonight’s Park Board meeting will also see deliberations over motions for the return of the temporary bike lane on Stanley Park Drive this year, and the protection of the mountain and skyline views from the Queen Elizabeth Park viewpoint.

 

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Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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