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Canadian Community Uses Artificial Turf to Dress Up Medians and Reduce Water Use

The city has installed artificial turf in the medians separating the north and south traffic on Dougall Avenue near the E.C. Row Expressway. Photograph by: Scott Webster, The Windsor Star

The city has installed artificial turf in the medians separating the north and south traffic on Dougall Avenue near the E.C. Row Expressway. Photograph by: Scott Webster, The Windsor Star

Windsor, Ontario, Canada:

Artificial turf  has just been installed on Dougall Avenue medians; in the city of Windsor, Ontario, as part of a $1-million gateway beautification program and is considering laying down the bright green turf near other key arteries.

“We put [the artificial turf]  there as an experiment just to see the reaction of everybody in the community and what we’re getting right now is rave reviews,” said city parks and facilities director Don Sadler. “Everybody loves [the artificial grass].”

The [synthetic] turf, which is soft and spongy and features individual blades of synthetic grass about an inch in length, was installed last week on a dozen centre medians on Dougall near E.C. Row Expressway.

The installation was part of an ongoing effort to spruce up the corridors leading into Windsor.  Rocks have already been placed and trees planted on the embankment lining the roadway.

The surface is considerably smoother and greener than the real grass struggling to grow on the side of the road and Sadler said [the artificial grass] will look far better than the patchy scrub usually associated with roadway medians.

“Anywhere where we have centre islands that are natural grass, they end up being weed infested because you get an awful lot of salt and sand on them and the only thing that will grow is weeds,” said Sadler.

“It gets a little scruffy looking in the summertime because you get an awful lot of salt leeching into the soil and it’s hard for the natural grass to grow.”

The city is expected to save money on maintenance costs because the surface won’t have to be watered and will only have to be broomed off once or twice per year, said Sadler.

“You don’t have to cut it, that’s one good thing,” he said. “Overall, the maintenance is a lot less costly.”

Sadler said the parks department will likely seek funding in the upcoming capital budget to install [synthetic turf] in other areas of the city, notably the gateway corridors.

“We certainly have the rest of Dougall to re-landscape and we want to brighten up the Howard entranceway coming into the city,” he said.

<http://www.windsorstar.com/Sports/Rave+reviews+fake+grass+beautification/1519933/story.html>

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