There are a number of important field projects occurring in Vancouver this year, and we encourage all VUL members to make their voices heard.
The Park Board plans to build more Artificial Turf (AT) fields to meet demand. In the next Capital Plan (2019-2022), money has been allocated to build at least 1 new field, add lights to new existing fields, and resurface some of the older fields.
1. The VPB is evaluating 3 sites for the new fields, and we'd like your help to send them feedback!
- Clinton Park
- Beaconsfield Park
- Churchill Secondary (South field and Oval field)
The VUL supports the installation of AT fields at Clinton, Beaconsfield, and only the south field at Churchill.
- Beaconsfield is a good site as it's currently a gravel field, and already has lights.
- Churchill South is attractive as it would be used by the school during the day, maximizing the ROI of taxpayer dollars. There is also significant density planned for that area.
- The Oval is a good grass field -- it's level and drains well. In general, good grass should not be converted to AT -- gravel fields or low-grade grass should be converted instead. In particular for the VUL, we have permits for the Oval, so losing that field will reduce the number of grass fields in our inventory.
- AT fields surrounded by running tracks are not a good mix, as we've experienced at Point Grey.
- There can be conflicts between runners, walkers, and field users if the field and track are both being used heavily. This track may be upgraded, too (see below).
- There is usually very little sideline space, and possibly no room for covered benches. Covered benches are important in fall & winter, especially for youth ultimate.
2. The VPB may also add lights to 2 existing fields. The VUL supports the installation of lights at both, as that greatly increases their availability for all field users.
- a mini-field in Hillcrest Park
- a small field at Kitsilano Secondary.
As part of the False Creek Flats plan, the City wants to close Prior Street where it crosses the railway tracks to enable more rail traffic. To do so, they need to build a new East-West arterial route from Main & Prior to Clark Drive.
One of the routes could involve cutting out a section of Strathcona Park. That's not good for field users, including the VUL. Even though we don't use that Park a lot, displaced users could put pressure on fields we do use.
A Community Panel is being formed to generate a recommendation for City Council. The panel's recommendation will carry significant weight.
If you live in that area, or care about that park, or want to ensure green space is protected, or are interested in public consultations in general, please consider applying to join the Community Panel. The deadline for applications is December 10.
The VPB is working with the School Board on a 10-year Track & Field Strategy. They want to upgrade all running tracks, and find a location for a competition-level track & field facility.
If you want to offer your opinion about what should be done with the 14 tracks in Vancouver parks and schools:
- attend one of the Open Houses on Dec 1 or 4
- or complete the Online Survey
If these types of field projects are of interest you, and you'd like to help the VUL with them in the future, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest. Thanks!