School Fields During Summer

UPDATE: Stage 3 Permitted Uses Include:
Sports playing field (including sand-based) and school yard watering at minimum levels as required to maintain areas in useable condition is permitted;
> For more info: www.metrovancouver.org

School Fields During Summer

The District recognizes the immense value of green spaces for our schools, as well as the benefit of these spaces to our school communities. Ensuring our students have safe learning environments, both indoors and outdoors, is our highest priority. 

Recently, school communities have asked us about our fields, and what we do to take care of them over the summer.


Fast Facts and FAQs

Why are fields being watered during water restrictions?

This summer has been particularly hot and dry. While fields are reseeded (over-seeded), it is necessary to continue watering the grass to encourage new growth.  

As part of the Stage 3 water restrictions (posted online at www.metrovancouver.org), the VSB fields are on the exemptions list as sports playing fields and schoolyards. 

Sports playing field (including sand-based) and schoolyard watering at minimum levels as required to maintain areas in useable condition is permitted.

The District has ceased watering of the Education Centre lawn (1580 West Broadway), until the Stage 2 and 3 restrictions are lifted.  

VSB transport trucks have not been washed since Stage 1 water restrictions were put in place.

Hand watering of trees, shrubs, flowers, decorative planters and vegetable gardens using a spring-loaded shutoff nozzle, containers or a drip irrigation system has ceased (with minimal exceptions ie. new seedling trees).

Sand-based fields (grass fields that are planted on sand) are exempt from water restrictions, as this would kill the grass and an entire new field would be required.

The VSB operates Central Irrigation Control Systems on 28 sports fields.

 Currently watering of the 28 fields only occurs in the late evening hours.

The District recently installed the Central Irrigation Control System for the fields using the VSB Ethernet network and radio communication. It allows changes to be made from the grounds yard by remote computer connection.

We monitor our daily outputs using the Central Irrigation Control Systems.

Staff is now able to make adjustments frequently to the watering schedules to account for current conditions and weather forecasts - all from the Grounds Office. (http://www.vsb.bc.ca/district-news/innovative-irrigation-control-saves-vsb-water-money-and-time)


Why are some school fields closed for the summer?

School fields, like the one at Templeton Secondary, are heavily used throughout the year, and the only time that permits maintenance is during the summer to avoid impacting school use.  

It is very typical that select school grounds are closed for field repair during the summer, so that they are in condition for safe play the following September.

There are 28 school fields across the city closed this summer for aeration, seeding and/or general maintenance.

The field at Templeton Secondary is very popular with the local community. It is important to note that only the park space west of the school belongs to the Vancouver School Board.

The larger field area, to the east of the school and around Templeton Community Pool, is Templeton Park, and is under the jurisdiction of the City of Vancouver Park Board.


I don't see anyone working on the field near my house, why can't I use it?

Access to the 28 fields must be restricted in order to ensure the best possible success for the work being done (like seeding and aeration).

Without this work being done, the field would eventually lose its grass cover and significantly increase the maintenance needed.

Over the summer both VSB staff and private contractors will be working on the fields. 

Public safety is also a high priority for the District.

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