Remove more Grass in Public Parks and Plant More Shrubs and Trees
Our community parks are covered with grass fields. Some are used as playing fields for playing soccer, baseball, cricket etc. Others just exist for picnics, impromptu ball games and for their own sake.
These grassy fields take too much work! Large machines mow the grass every few weeks, spread earth, sand, seed and lime and aerate the soil. Around the fields there is another large machine that gathers up and mashes leaves in the fall. Then there are countless smaller machines working the perimeter of the fields and on the boulevard. They are manned by Parks Board employees who are at work endless hours weed whacking around benches, edges and corners, mowing the lawn with a small mower, fertilizing, spread lime, etc. etc.
All of these vast numbers of machines – large and small - run on gasoline. They smell, create a great amount of noise and most seriously waste a great deal of fuel and cause pollution. For hours on end the poor employees have to make their way around the park, edging little bits of grass that can’t be reached by larger machines. They have to wear protective hearing. They have to feel the constant vibrations of the machines. We all have to hear the constant drone of the motors across the open field and smell the fumes and wonder why on earth humankind spends so much of our scarce money and resource on this endless cutting and caring for grass.
In any case the boulevards are at present being eaten away by the European Chafer Beetle (another invading European!). They are full of moss and not worth keeping as grass and it is just a matter of time before they will need to be replanted.
The perimeter of these parks and some of the area of those that are not playing fields should be given over to more biodiversity. How about planting native plants such as Nootka Rose, Oregon Grape and Salal? These are excellent specimens which do well on minimum water and maintenance. They offer fragrance, edible berries and attractive colour and some food for birds and bees. Strathcona Park has a very successful native planting that proves you can have a low maintenance shrub display that does not use excessive resources.
l lee commented
Less grass, less maintenance and less fertilizer and pesticide use - WIN WIN!!