Vancouver Parks Board Closes Popular Park, Says Damaged From 4-20 Event

Smoke fills the air above the thousands of people gathered around the stage shortly after the clock struck 4:20 p.m. in Vancouver on Friday. (Image via CBC)

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Parks Board says it has to close a popular park because of damage caused during an annual cannabis celebration, while pot advocates are disputing the blame.

Parks Board chairman Stuart Mackinnon says staff will need about 10 weeks to repair the damage to Sunset Beach Park, which hosted about 40,000 people at the 4-20 celebration on Friday.

He says although organizers made efforts to reduce damage this year, including laying field-protection panels to shield it from rain, it wasn’t enough.

Mackinnon says staff will have to wait for the field to dry completely before aerating, top-dressing, seeding and fertilizing it — then letting the grass re-grow.

Cannabis activist Jodie Emery is questioning the finger-pointing, however, posting photos on Twitter comparing the field before and after the event.

She notes there were similar mud puddles before the event and described the field after the event as “green & grassy.”

The Canadian Press