Hamilton high schools switching to artificial turf to save money
At least one environmentalist says it's a bad move
Hamilton's public school board is converting almost all of its high school sports fields into artificial turf in a bid to save money, but Environment Hamilton says it's a bad idea.
The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board says converting natural grass fields to artificial ones will help "exercise fiscal restraint in challenging times."
The new Bernie Custis and Nora Frances Henderson high schools will have artificial turf. The turf at Waterdown is in progress. Dundas Valley Secondary School and Westdale will also be converted, while Sir Winston Churchill's turf has already been done.
Saltfleet and Glendale will remain natural grass because of "commitments in progress," the board said in a media release.
All seven Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board high schools have artificial turf.
Lynda Lukasik, Environment Hamilton executive director, says there are health and environmental concerns here.
"Fields of artificial turf are huge urban heat islands because the base is black," she said.
Tim Horton's Field, she said, has created a hot spot of heat in Hamilton's east end. Artificial turf has also been associated with heat stroke in athletes.
The provincial PC government has changed the way it funds schools, which has resulted in some teacher layoffs and the board cutting 173 courses.