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It might be greener – but it isn’t grass.

City looking into artificial grass

in residential front yards.

BURLINGTON, ON –January 22, 2011  –   Some Burlington property owners have expressed interest in installing artificial grass in residential front yards which at this point is not permitted.  A Zoning by-law would have to be changed and City staff is currently gathering information that will form a report to city council this spring. The report will focus on the use of artificial grass in residential areas.

The City would like to hear from the public on this and will be holding an open house at City Hall on Wednesday January 26, 2011, 6:30 to 8:30pm, Room 247. If you can’t attend you can send written comments to Dave Marriott, Burlington Planning and Building Department by email: marriottd@burlington.ca

Margaret Lindsay Holton, a well known area artist, is pretty clear about where she stands on artificial turf. “I am opposed to fake grass. Period. “

Allright Margaret, tell us how you really feel.  “Here are a few choice ‘highlighted’ objections:  Plastic grass is a manufactured product. It is not produced anywhere in Canada.

“Few manufacturers supply MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets), and those that do ‘fudge’ the unknowns for example, the bonding materials, and the substrate.
The largest producer of fake grass is now China. Most of the polyethylene ‘yarn’ (ie. ‘grass blade’) comes from Dubai. It is not even remotely ‘native’ to this region and thus no complete environmental or health assessment has ever been done vis a vis our climate that addresses this product’s ‘breakdown’ rate.”

“It goes to landfill when ‘expired’ after, generally, 5-10 years. Natural lawn does not.
Artificial turf is ‘permanently ‘green so does not ‘grow/evolve’ during the seasons.
It needs to be fenced-in to prevent wandering critter urine from ‘staining’ the synthetic colour.”

“The ‘thatch’ used in residential fake grass to add ‘realism’ will be increasingly incorporated into bird’s nests and other ‘habitats’ by wildlife. Is this a ‘good thing’?
Equally, the small granular ‘rubber infill’ used to maintain the ‘perpendicular shafts’ of fake grass is ‘loose’, so will move on the soles of feet into ‘non fake grass’ terrain, and wash out during rains into the eco-system and into the water supply. Is that good?
It gets hot, often in excess of 60-80 degrees of the ambient temperature, thus contributing to global warming and a permanent non-biodegradable ‘footprint.”
It is highly flammable and when inflamed it is toxic. Is City prepared to deal with this?

Ms Holton is a constant defender of the environment and is giving every who wants to put artificial turf on the fields at New City Park the hardest of times.  Mess with the environment and you are up against Margaret Lindsay Holton.  Step carefully.

Ms Holton is also an accomplished artist – try the Burlington Art Centre when she is exhibiting and Google to see some of her work.

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