Bulldozing Jericho or Memorial Oval?

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Yes. There is consideration at Park Board right now to redevelop existing grass fields in the search for two new location for artifial turf.

It seems to me that Jericho is almost sacred ground. And it seems to me that Memorial Oval is one of the better quality and better utilized fields in East Van. So why remove them to construct turf fields when there are better choices?

Two Park Board open houses are coming right at us:

Sep 24 (Thursday!) at West Point Grey Community Centre, 4397 W. 2nd Avenue, 5-7 pm

September 28 (Monday) at Sunset Community Centre, 6810 Main Street, 5-7 pm

I know what I think, and I can't tell you what to think, but I can urge you to come out and attend if you have an opinion...


Not that it gives much more information, but the link is to the parks board's news release concerning this.

Also, while Memorial and Jericho are POSSIBLE sites, and losing these great grass fields would be a big negative for the Ultimate community, there are other sites being considered that would be a big positive for us.

Rupert Park North (Rupert at Kitchener) and especially Beaconsfield Park all-weather field (Slocan and 17th Avenue). Development of either of these fields would potentially add to the VUL stable of fields.

If you live in the areas of these fields try to come out to the open houses and support these ideas. We don't want to just be against something, being for something is just as powerful - or even more so as it sets you apart from the normal NIMBY movement.


Is Jericho that great a surface?

It's a beautiful location, but the sod itself hasn't seemed that great to me. Certainly nowhere
near as nice as Memorial O, Balaclava, Trafalgar, etc.

Maybe I'd be sad if Jericho weren't preserved 'au natuale', but I wouldn't cry because I missed
the actual surface that's there. If a turf field could go in without huge chain-link fences spoiling
the view, I might even like it better.

I agree that Jericho isn't a great surface, and the goalposts aren't particularly convenient. However, I'd be concerned that demand for the space would increase if it was an all-weather field.

It would be a shame to see Memorial oval and Balaclava disappear (again, increased demand?) but I agree that the Memorial NW field would be a great candidate - it's marginal now. I can see the PB trying to argue that converting certain fields would improve the distribution of all-weather fields, but Jericho isn't in anyone's backyard and is one of the least convenient (albeit most desirable otherwise) fields in the city.

Ah true, while not necessarily a negative (as I'd see replacing a lush grass field), it wouldn't
have the benefit of adding another playable surface.

Other west-side sites might be considered. If you feel any Jericho isn't ideal, you could ask about alternatives.

For Memorial, remember there are two sites under consideration: the Oval and the N/W field. They wouldn't build on both.

Things that are important for field users, imho, include:
- increased capacity (i.e. replacing well-used grass isn't ideal)
- good distribution (i.e. serve all areas of the city)
- access (roads, transit, parking)
- fieldhouse/washrooms

Gin-Boh, note that 'all-weather' to the park board means gravel (like Beaconsfield). Synthetic turf options being considered are in-fill fields like VanTech or carpet like Hamber (i.e. field-hockey).

Memorial O would be a pretty bad call to convert to turf. Probably one of the better fields in terms of overall condition, and the constraints of the oval itself probably limit any turf field to less than a soccer field, so lining it (which they seem want to do) would be pointless. Plus they'd have to replace the cricket bit in the middle.

The NW field seems like a much better option, given that it's used for soccer a lot, and the geography probably leads to a swampy consistency during heavy rains.

If they're considering Jericho, why not just replace the crappy grass in the middle and stop those damn rugby players from tearing it up?


I went to a parks board open house at West point grey - it's pretty
interesting to hear others opinions. Someone brought in a kids girls soccer team to the meeting. We need to be vocal about what we would like to see. I encourage everyone to find time to go out and attend one of the 2 remaining open houses.... you may have your own feelings on what you want to see based on what you hear.

Turf fields are going to happen - it isn't a do or don't issue. The
issue is where they want to put them. They need to decide where the last 2 fields are going to go. We need to speak up as a field sports user group, and as an ultimate community that has demonstrated growth in the city.

This is my take.

Jericho - They list 2 sites (Jericho E and W) as potential sites. They
would only build on one of the Jericho fields. Lots of neighbors and
area residents like the idea of field turf here, but are very
concerned about parking, and disturbing the bird sanctuary there.
Rugby doesn't like field turf there because they have a lease with the
Jericho clubhouse and worried they'll lose their field- the only way rugby will agree is if the artificial turf is built on Jericho East, or if on Jericho West - it must be to rugby international standards. I plugged the bird sanctuary angle and next time I send in something I should also say that environmental impact on the sanctuary will be higher than a similar set up they did for Oak Meadows (the next ultimate fields) because they are adding in lights - Incidentally, they looked at the space behind the youth hostel and Jericho North (softball fields) and there is not enough room there for turf. THey need room to pave a perimeter around the turf... and it
will also probably be fenced...less asthetically pleasing in such a lovely area.

I told the guy that I thought they were silly for considering ripping
up some of the best park fields in the city (Jericho and Memorial) for
field turf, and wondered why they didn't consider other crappier field

Parks board also lists a bunch of other fields they have considered -
I have no idea how they came up with the short list.
School board has also approached the board for a collaboration on
building field turf on school property... but that isn't on this table
or platform yet (we maybe could advocate for that... because there are some good options on the original list). They also is some funding restriction - in that they can't build field turf around the langara corridor (where some good field site options exist) because they have can agreement with some company... funding from the city is not designated to be used in those areas for parks stuff... I don't
remember the details but that's the gist of it.

I supported the Beaconsfield location - see above posted comments.
It improves a crappy field site, and residents are already used to the lighting there. Maybe change the lighting to the new technology they are proposing.

Memorial Oval- I did not support because of excellent field quality
relative to the rest of the fields in vancouver, and also because they
would be displacing the cricket people - they don't play on turf.
Again they are considering 2 sites on Memorial (the oval where we play league games, and NW Memorial which is primarily soccer). They would only make one of the sites turf - not both.

The rupert location is planned for rupert North (next to pitch and
putt) - I would have recommended why not rupert S - as it's a bit
farther away from the neighborhood houses, behind the hill a bit and
closer to the parking lot under the highway - better parking.

See next post..


Make sure you voice your opinion about which type of field turf you
want. Field hockey wants to have that carpet stuff that sucks for
ultimate. At least the in fill material (which is what Andy
Livingstone and West point grey secondary) is better for ultimate
purposes. If field carpet is chosen - we potentially lose a field site.

If you cannot make an open house session - at the very least
submit your voice via a feedback form. Go here:


and click on all the boxed pictures on the right to get the info about
field turf, reasons for moving to turf, how they are choosing sites,
and original list of field site options. They evaluated ALOT of
fields... I may be inclined to submit some alternatives on the
original list (like Kingscrest.. as example) on my next feedback form. Theres a survey link at the bottom of the page.

Comments directly to the parks board can be made here -

Jericho is in a part of our city where there are more bedrooms than people.

That in itself, should be reason enough NOT to choose Jericho, to a city that values sustainable community planning.


Are VUL members also Vancouver Field Sport Federation members?

The parks board survey (see link in EC's post above) would like to know.
That factor might presumably add more weight to your survey results.

Yes, the VUL is an active member of the Vancouver Field Sports Federation (VFSF).


I would second EC's recommendation to submit any comments you have via the online survey linked on the park board site:


Some suggestions for advocacy efforts.

1) Set-up a Facebook group. Being able to point to visible support from a large number of people who chose to put their name behind an initiative played an important role in getting the go-ahead on the Burrard Bridge lane trial and more recently the dirt jump facility planned for Vanier Park. It also makes it possible for non-ulty players to add their support as well.

2) Individual emails to politicians count for a lot. Tell your side with some respect for the fact they have to make tough decisions and you will be heard. Having the ED or LC represent us is one thing, but it takes individuals making their voices heard to be really effective.

3) Keep track of media coverage of the issue and make your comments known on blogs and in feedback sections of the Sun, Straight, Province, Courier et al. Letters to the editor are also important.

4) Unify your voices. Decide on what you really want, boil it down to no more than three key points that you reiterate using about five key phrases. Repetition of the message is crucial to cut thru the clutter. With Burrard Bridge, the advocates who were working on promoting the lane trial identified three issues at the outset (safer, cost effective, progressive) and stayed on message throughout the debate.

5) Don't try to answer hypotheticals from the media, who need controversy to sell papers. Trying to answer questions like:

"What would you suggest those little girls who want to play soccer should do?" is a mug's game.

When faced with these types of questions a good response is point out that each group has its representatives and those types of questions are best directed to the appropriate person in their organization. No one is under an obligation to answer questions, esp. those that are designed to create a controversy or get an outraged reaction.

Speaking directly to the point of 'unify your voices', let me direct you to this page on our website to see the VUL's position on the turf development proposals.


This is now our last chance (last 24 hrs!) to have our voices heard. The public process will wrap up this week. Have you attended an open house and filled out the survey? If not, you can still do so...


Just heard about the following petition (see link). Looks like Memorial Oval might be on the chopping block, lets try some civic activisim!

Stand up and be counted VUL!



At 12:34pm today when I first viewed this we had 3 names.

As of the above posting, 1:20pm, 15 names. Spread the news!


And 1 hour later, now 24 signatures...

On a related matter, it is encouraging to see that Price of Wales school has been added to the list of sites for proposed synthetic-turf development. Especially for youth soccer, but for other sports groups too, it is important to see another west-side location for syn-turf. Seeing PW selected will help to protect Jericho from the bulldozer...

Why not voice your support by stopping at the Open House -- Prince of Wales school this Monday (Nov 9th) between 5-7pm. Click on the link below for full info.


33 signatures.

51...and counting


at a 115 and going up

300+ and growing, but we need to keep it growing! There are over 4000 members of the VUL, and that does not include our family members who don't play.

If we can't get 1000 names on this then we should not expect much help from government in this or other issues down the road.

I know that the Forum dwellers have seen the note and probably signed, but we need to keep getting the word out.

If you know a team Captain, pass along the link for them to send out to their team.

Keep growing the list.



the cricketers are beating us...let's beat the cricketers!!

yes I'm making it a competition...let's WIN!!!!!!!

If you missed the open house at Prince of Wales school last night (see post 17 from Art), you can fill out the survey online. I would do so by next Monday at the latest.


We have made it over the 1000 (1144 as of this posting) mark on the Petition, it is good to see that we can fan out this information and get people involved in a good cause.

I expect the VUL will be making the Parks Board aware of the petition, and I would suggest that, if the capability is there to for the Petition owner to contact the people who signed up, that a message should be sent to all 1144 people with information on who to email at the Parks Board to further voice their displeasure.

I for one will not vote for any Parks Board member who votes to change Memorial Oval. This fact needs to be communicated directly to those whose #1 concern is getting votes.

The voter is most powerful (but unfortunately least interested) at the municipal level. I guarantee that if any parks board member was looking at 1000 votes going to their opposition they would be very concerned.

Lets bring it to the streets!