A lot of Vancouver boulevards are beginning to look like Cortes Island wheat fields
I trust people will note the photos of Mayor Gregor Robertson and others riding their bicycles along the seawall the other day. Several anomalies appear:
- They are riding in a bicycle prohibited area.
- The grass was cut in a vary specific swath.
- Approx one metre along the path only the grass and weeds in the background are actually almost one metre high or more.
It seems the Mayor and his cohorts have a whacked sense of priorites regarding parks, garden and tree maintenance. Some basic results of these cuts:
- The overall Park Board budget has been "whacked" by over $5 million dollar the past 3 years under Vision control.
- The popular summer playground leader program funding has now been over chopped 46% and reduced to a few parks on rotational basis.
- Community Centre funding hours and programs have been cut with seniors, fitness, child care and other programs being slashed or eliminated.
- Basic park, field, garden, tree and washroom maintenance has been slashed - this can and will lead to serious health issues such as an increase in hay fever and allergies as well as an increase in mice, rats and other vermin in parks and unkempt City Boulevards.
- This state of disrepair could lead to a decrease in property values as potential residents look at alternative municipalities that are better kept.
- The deterioration of respect and increased vandalism of City property.
The basic lack of care only further helps to foster the invasion of INVASIVE species of plants such as hogweed, morning glory, weeds, thistle and more to neighbourhoods throughout the City.
One only need take a peek at the overgrown boulevard and dying trees along West King Edward Boulevard, and overgrown grass and weeds throughout the City in places as diverse as Victoria and Clark Park to City boulevards (which look like "haying" has taken place) for shocking visual evidence of these deplorable cuts.
It's a question of priorities, which are way out of whack. We are all now paying the price on this reliance on "fun" optics versus nuts and bolts mechanics that keep a city running and a pleasant, safe place to live.
If the Vision Council and Park Board can find over $1 million for a party in Stanley Park, surely they can find the money to keep our City looking clean and kept.
Rhetorical questions that are answered by a Council and Park Board with a vision that does not reflect the reality of daily life and operations but which increasingly relies on superficial optics.
Mores the pity.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The NPA issued a news release this morning with a headline that read "Forget the Wheat, Just Mow the Grass". Subsequent to that, several MSM have covered the story including the Vancouver Sun,The Province and CBC TV. Probably the best tweet on this issue comes from NPA council candidate Bill McCreery. He states "1st we had wheat fields, not we have weed fields."
Post by Dave Pasin. Dave is a city park board candidate for the Vancouver Non-Partisan Association (NPA). If you're an elected official or candidate seeking office and want to write about urban issues, please send your 450-500 word submission to CityCaucus@gmail.com.