Bard on the Beach wants permanent grass removal at its temporary site

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Each year, Bard on the Beach draws thousands of fans to Vancouver’s Vanier Park. However, the event is now looking for ways to permanently get rid of the grass under their temporary venue.

The BOTB venue is set up annually in April, and then comes down in October. The festival’s managing director Claire Sakaki says, however, that while BOTB sees to it the grass beneath the temporary structures is re-seeded each fall, the current protocol is proving to be ineffective.

Vancouver’s rains turn the vacated BOTB area into a muddy mess, and it’s “not the most aesthetically pleasing,” Sakaki previously told Metro.

In their proposal called “Enhancing Vanier Park for Year-Round Community Use,” BOTB says “re-seeding after the growing season has ended has proven unsuccessful and the top soil clogs drainage.”

BOTB is seeking a long-term solution to the problem underfoot at Vanier Park. Specifically, BOTB “is proposing to add an all-season surface and tree-lined pathways” to the park, with an aim to “to improve the year-round usability of, and accessibility to, the park.”

Replacing the grass with a hard surface, like pavement or gravel, is not a popular pitch, however.

CityHallWatch director Randy Helten told Business in Vancouver he has concerns about “the deeper implications of restricting public parkland for special user groups.”

BOTB held an Open House over the weekend to discuss the issue, and are currently asking patrons and interested Vancouverites to fill out an online survey about their proposal, which will be available until September 30.

The Shakespearean festival says that most of the park will remain grass under their plan. They will take the survey results and ideas drawn from consultations to the Park Board at the end of October.

Featured image: Stephen Rees/Flickr

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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