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

Just Posted

Island Health, Victoria Hospice fund 15 more patient beds for end-of-life care at Royal Jubilee Hospital

New patient beds in hospice and acute palliative care to be in place by spring 2020

Sidney has highest walk-in clinic wait times in the country: report

Several Vancouver Island facilities wait times notably poor

Beaches near Sidney’s Tsehum Harbour to receive first clean up in years

Peninsula Streams Society hopes to attract 50 volunteers for the Saturday event

Food truck pilot program in Saanich parks gets the green light from council

Pilot program will see food trucks permited in certain parks as early as next summer

‘Homespun’ brings six Greater Victoria artists together for genre-bending music

Highlands Music Coffee House returns Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

‘A loud sonic boom’: Gabriola Island residents recount fatal plane crash

Area where the plane went down is primarily a residential neighbourhood, RCMP say

Almost 14,000 Canadians killed by opioids since 2016: new national study

17,000 people have been hospitalized for opioid-related poisoning

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Chevron move to exit Kitimat LNG project a dash of ‘cold water’ for gas industry

Canada Energy Regulator approved a 40-year licence to export natural gas for Kitimat LNG

B.C. cities top the list for most generous in Canada on GoFundMe

Chilliwack took the number-two spot while Kamloops was at the top of the list

Penticton RCMP warn of new ‘porting’ scam that puts internet banking, online accounts at risk

Two-factor verification has been the go-to way to keep online accounts secure

Thunberg ‘a bit surprised’ to be Time ‘Person of the Year’

‘I could never have imagined anything like that happening,’ she said in a phone interview

Most Read