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 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

The Pool at the Esquimalt Rec Centre. (Courtesy of theTownship of Esquimalt/ Facebook)
Esquimalt Rec Centre restarting everyone welcome swim times later this month

The 90-minute sessions will be on select evenings and weekends

Steve Mann and Tim Hackett consider Marigold Lands their finest development. (Rendering courtesy Marigold Lands)
Marigold residences grow more townhouses and condos in Central Saanich

50 condos, 14 townhouses up next for project adjacent to Pat Bay Highway

Norman Mogensen sets up strings for his beans in his plot in the Oak Bay community gardens. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay gardener spends decades cultivating, improving daddy’s beans

85-year-old vegan part of the community gardens scene

Theatre SKAM is offering mobile, pop-up performances to Greater Victoria residents once again this summer. They’ll feature emerging artists Yasmin D’Oshun, Courtney Crawford, Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell (left to right). (Courtesy of Theatre SKAM)
Theatre performances can be ordered to Greater Victoria front yards this summer

Theatre SKAM offering mobile, pop-up performances once again

Diana Durrand and Arlene Nesbitt celebrate the new artist space in 2014. Gage Gallery moves this summer from Oak Bay to Bastion Square in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gage Gallery moving to Bastion Square

Vivid Connections, a showcase by Laura Feeleus and Elizabeth Carefoot, opens new venue June 29

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read