‘The best approach is to always talk to people’: Vancouver city official on #lawnshaming trend

File / Global News

As Metro Vancouver continues to face a long stretch of hot, dry weather and increased enforcement of water restrictions, the so-called lawn shaming is picking up on social media.

The social media trend emerged this spring in California. The state is facing unprecedented drought conditions, but it is not stopping some celebrities and regular Californians from having luscious, green lawns during a severe water shortage.

Hashtags like #droughtshaming and #lawnshaming have been used on social media to shame those breaking the rules.

While the situation is not as dire here in B.C., a number of lawn shaming Tweets have been popping up on social media.

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Speaking to reporters today, Jerry Dobrovolny with the City of Vancouver says they do not condone public shaming.

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“Our goal is compliance and our strategy to get there is information and education,” said Dobrovolny. “The best approach is to always talk to people. Our goal is healthy, vibrant communities. And a healthy community is one where you talk to the people who live on your street.”

But the city has a lot of “eyes on the street,” said Dobrovolny. “Our phones are ringing off the hook right now, and we are using that information to follow up in our enforcement,” he said.

Ironically back in June, the city was encouraging residents to tattle on their neighbours if they see them watering their lawn when they’re not supposed to.

In Metro Vancouver, current lawn sprinkling regulations are:

Residential — even-numbered addresses may sprinkle lawns 4 a.m. – 9 a.m. Monday; odd-numbered addresses may sprinkle lawns 4 a.m. – 9 a.m. Thursday and non-residential — even-numbered addresses may sprinkle lawns 1 a.m. – 6 a.m. Wednesday; odd-numbered addresses may sprinkle lawns 1 a.m. – 6 a.m. Tuesday; and municipal parks must also follow the once weekly lawn sprinkling times.

Decorative fountains in the City of Vancouver are also being turned off to conserve water.

These fountains are in:

  • Andy Livingstone Park
  • Bayshore Central
  • Cathedral Square
  • David Lam Park
  • George Wainborn Park
  • Granville Loop

Public water play parks and pads combination, such as Emery Barnes Park and Queen Elizabeth Park are being kept operational because these have recirculating water features.


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