Comment 45104

By Wondering Wilmot (anonymous) | Posted August 07, 2010 at 19:31:54

So, here's a problem ... Right now, Pan Am is ALSO looking at a site in Burlington for 'preliimary' soccer matches. The City of Burlngton was part of the whole Toronto 'Bid' for the Games and put forward, initially, well-known 'urban' soccer park, Sherwood Forest Park in the southeast end of the city. Trouble is they forgot to ask the residents. Several months later, City and the Pan Am Games got the boot. City went scrambling looking for another location that wouldn't have 'citizens' protesting. They came up with the "remote" site of a new park currently 'in development' - New City Park, on the escarpment, tucked into the 'backwater' of Ward 1.

Everything seemed fine, except they had to get the Niagara Escarpment to, in principle, go along with it. At first, the NEC didn't. In February, 2010, they squashed City's first presentation rightly concerned that the projected 10,000 or so would upset the equilibrium of the natural aspects of that ESA. (Ecologically Sensitive Area). City went away, sharpened their pencils, came back to the NEC and said, ok, 5,000 and we've got popular support.

On June 17th, 2010, the NEC said alright, but be sure you keep the public informed and keep us posted. Fast forward to today. It's now August 8th and there is a growing protest and a grassroots pettion to 'STOP the Pan Am Games getting into New CIty Park'. (http://meetup.com/Friends-of-City-Park) Why? Well, try CONVINCING rural people that putting down million dollar artificial grass on the living earth is a good idea. They rightly point out that this toxic stuff needs to be replaced every 5-10 years, and who's going to pay for that? Taxpayers. And where does the 'old plastic' go? A landfill site. This doesn't make much sense.

WHY does the City want to put artificial turf into this exquisite unique escarpment parkland? Turf time. More games per daym and season, then good ol'fashioned grass. They also say there's no water to irrigate real earth. (Yet, they've just 'built' a fake lake of some depth. And a suburb is slated for development off Kerns Road over the next few years ...) So, water really is NOT the issue. They want artificial because of the soccer foot traffic. More games, more matches, more people, more revenue etc, etc. But WAIT A MINUTE - this is one of the finest natural parks in the area (little known because it is 'under-developed' at the moment) - what are they THINKING-? Could it just be the CIty is so desperate for that golden bauble dangling from the Pan Am Games they've lost sight of what is BEST?

What's happening now is a MEGA clash between 'suburban soccer' and 'rural roots'. The rurals want this 'high octane' divisional soccer on fenced-in artificial turf, including Pan Am Games, OUT OF THE PARK. They THOGUHT this was supposed to be a 'natural park' with a nice friendly recreational mutli-use sporting areas, not a 'Centre for Soccer Excellence'. It's all out of whack BECAUSE of the Pan Am Games 'fever'.

It's just WRONG to BURY THE LIVING EARTH with plastic, aka 'artificial turf'. But clearly, the suburban soccers - (SS) - don't care - they just want a 'trophy' playing field, as does the City, as does Pan Am.

Getting the picture here?

So NOW WHAT? Why not put artificial turf on 'dead land', why not put it on existing 'brownfields' that have NO PRODUCTIVE future? Bayview Park has been suggested by the rurals. A former landfill (just off the QE between Burlington core and Hamilton), it's been 'naturalizing' for 38 years. It has fantastic 'backdrop' views down over the Bay,(great photo-ops for Pan Am and future 'branding'. It's better situated to the highway. Municipal services are there too, and the 'revamping' of King Road is already on the books for development.

SO WHY won't they GO THERE? Ask them. Why won't they make the RIGHT DECISION about the land, the kids, the future and the monies and GO THERE?

Maybe someone can tell me.
In a line or two ... :)

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