Oak Bay resident Angus Matthews shocked to learn how many artificial grass fibres are embedded into the real grass along the riparian buffer zone of the Bowker Creek. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Oak Bay’s turf field could be covered in tarp for months

Resident who recognized artificial grass problem remains concerned

A week after he stumbled on the Oak Bay High plastic turf strands situation, Oak Bay resident Angus Matthews still has questions.

Matthews first contacted the Oak Bay News about the situation on Nov. 13. Six days later, the Greater Victoria School District had tarped the field and shut it down indefinitely after it recognized the artificial plastic blades of grass were entering the Bowker Creek watershed.

READ MORE: Oak Bay High artificial turf closed indefinitely as plastic sheds into Bowker Creek

“The good news is the plastic field is contained in place and the surrounding area received an industrial scale clean up by SD61 [on Nov. 22],” Matthews noted. “They did a really good job.”

On Nov. 15 Matthews and his friends voluntarily raked five bags of the plastic turf out of the real grass along the riparian buffer of Bowker Creek.

“We gave up [for the day], there was too much,” Matthews said.

SD61 and the District of Oak Bay are now regularly monitoring the storm drains for further detritus from the turf field. Volunteer members of the Friends of Bowker Creek are also committed, cleaning a section of the creek over the weekend, Matthews said.

However, the question of replacing a 90-tonne plastic turf field is one that Matthews is now interested in. The field is comprised of plastic rubber crumbs as a base which keep the strands standing up while draining water.

READ MORE: Plastic pellets washing up on Willows Beach traced back to Fraser River source

The main problem with the Oak Bay High turf is that the artificial turf strands are loosely bound and are coming free with the field’s regular use, where other turf fields do not come apart easily.

This week the Ministry of the Environment said it in a statement that it is monitoring the situation until the replacement field is installed. It also said that parliamentary secretary Sheila Malcolmson is looking at ways to address plastics that make their way into waterways.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Ojibwe man marks completion of five-day ‘healing walk’ from Hope to Saanich

Claremont Secondary students join celebration in Cordova Bay

MISSING: Saanich police search for 18-year-old last seen Sept. 9

Robyn Coker-Steel has short purple hair, frequents downtown Victoria

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Saanich police encourage safe driving habits as rain leads to pooling on roadways

Slow down, inspect vehicle ahead of driving in wet autumn weather

Three years for serial bank robber who hit Sidney branch

Lucas Bradwell was wanted for robberies in Sidney, Abbotsford and Vancouver

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read