In Langford, installing artificial grass over the real deal is becoming more popular.
Langford’s Mayor Stew Young says they began experimenting with it about 15 years ago and now residents find it in most public spaces, along sidewalks, and on road medians and roundabouts.
“It started with the safety aspect of it, you know, when you have cars going down 60-70 km/h and somebody is trying to cut the centre of the median we thought maybe there is a better option,” said Young.
But Young says they really started to move away from installing real grass about a year-and-a-half ago when they made it mandatory for developers to install the turf as part of the frontage improvements they have to provide the city with in every new development. And it’s written in the bylaws.
“They are now putting in the sidewalks, the street lights, the bike lanes, and the artificial turf just to buffer the cars on the road from where you are walking, that’s basically where we are trying to put it now in the boulevards,” said Young.
Installing the turf in comparison to installing real grass is actually more expensive.
“You are looking at about four times the cost,” said Kris Mickelson owner of SYNLAWN.
But with virtually no maintenance, Young says it pays for itself within three years.
“It will probably get down to two years and hopefully one day it will be the same price as putting in the grass,” said Young.
And Young is not the only one seeing the benefits of going faux.
Kris Mickelson who owns SYNLAWN, the company that installs the artificial grass in Langford, says a lot of his clients are actually homeowners and beyond the low upkeep, they’re choosing it to go green.
“The biggest benefit right now is obviously conserving water and also eliminating the use of fertilizers and use of pesticides and stuff that are ending up within our different watersheds,” said Mickelson.
Although opinions on it’s aesthetic, especially in public view, are divided Young says over the next five years more artificial turf will be put in place.