Grass may not be greener after all as Langford councillors vote on whether to turf the turf


Langford council is voting Monday night on possibly removing one of Stew Young’s stamps on the city. It’s green, doesn’t grow, and according to city staff, people just don’t like it: artificial turf.

“Feedback from Langford residents over the last five years has been generally negative,” reads the report.

Saving taxpayer money was one of the reasons former mayor Stew Young introduced the use of artificial grass in 2017.

Since then though, Langford’s Park and Recreation departments says the cost of astroturf has skyrocketed.

“In the last five years, it’s gone up from $85 dollars/square metre to $133/square metre compared to sod which has gone from $20/square metre to $30/square metre,” said Scott Goodmanson, Langford’s current mayor who ousted Young in a civic election shocker last fall.

The price increase is outlined in the report going in front of Langford council Monday night.

“The city now has over 5 years of experience working with and maintaining artificial turf. A review of the maintenance, installation and replacement costs over this period shows that the anticipated savings have not been met,” reads the report.

It also says astroturf requires more maintenance and is less environmentally friendly.

“Artificial turf does not absorb C02 or give off oxygen like natural grass making it not environmentally friendly,” reads the report. “Frequent herbicide applications are required for weed control on artificial turf…Inorganic materials contribute to heat island effects in dense urban areas.”

Goodmanson, a landscaper by trade, has a favourite.

“Personally, in general, I like sod over turf,” said Goodmanson, while acknowledging turf does have particular applications where it makes the most sense.

Even so, Goodmanson says his vote is far from decided. He says he and council are still weighing their options, before voting whether or not to turf the turf Monday night.

Kori Sidaway

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