Arlington saved from Artificial Turf!!

The battle for the future of Arlington Reserve has been won by local residents campaigning for it to remain natural turf and for reasonable hours of use to be maintained.

At its December meeting, Marrickville Council considered two reports.

The first report was on the community consultation process.  This report showed overwhelming opposition to the proposal to install artificial turf.

The second report looked into all the issues raised about the environmental, health and other effects of artificial turf, as well as how it would affect the amenity of local residents and the compared the financial case for a re-turf with natural grass and with artificial turf.

Despite many many questionable findings and unanswered questions and a highly qualified financial case, the report recommend to the elected councillors that they proceed with an Expression of Interest on installing artificial turf.

This recommendation came despite the very strong community reaction against artificial turf revealed in the community consultation process.

Local residents from the area came and spoke very articulately against artificial turf.

When it last came before Council in August, the five Green Councillors moved for Arlington Reserve to be re-surfaced with natural grass rather than artificial .  They presented it as a win-win result – a better surface for soccer players, while avoiding all the pitfalls of artificial turf.  Back then the four Labor and three Independent Councillors rejected this proposal in favour of continuing the process of installing artificial turf.

Now the Labor Councillors and Independent Councillor Dimtirios Thanos changed their position to join the Greens to support a natural re-turf over artificial turf.  Only Independent Councillor Victor Macri persisted with supported artificial turf.  This effectively killed off the idea of artificial turf for good and it will now be returfed with natural grass after the 2010 winter season.

Council will also look at installing water capturing and harvesting systems to provide better irrigation to the soccer pitch.

This is a big victory for the local community and their intense efforts at education and lobbying councillors.

Thank you to all the local residents and others who assisted this campaign!


One Response to “Arlington saved from Artificial Turf!!”

  1. Kathy Says:

    WAY TO GO ARLINGTON!! It’s about time intelligence won out over wishful thinking leading to blind belief in the modern day snake oil of artificial turf. It is the very definition of unsustainable and obscenely expensive as well.
    Experimenting with water harvesting for irrigation is now the norm in many states including Florida and California. A durable natural turf field begins with great underground preparation and drainage (after all even the plastic artificial turf rug is not just laid on the ground, extensive preparation and drainage is done) and organic maintenance including leaft compost (see Kevin Mercer’s grounds at St. Mary’s college in Maryland and Alex Palluzzi’s groundbreaking fields in Branford CT)

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