Grass IS the Answer!

by • 4 years ago

A commitment to the existing grass fields around us can meet the immediate needs for safe, quality playing fields.

 

The unknowns of synthetic turf safety have burst into the limelight this week.  The call is for additional research on synthetic turf rubber crumb infills or a change to organic infills for new fields being installed.

But instead of waiting years for research, the answer already exists!  A commitment to the existing grass fields around us can meet the immediate needs for safe, quality playing fields. Here is how that can work:

Less Cost:

With an existing field, as little as 1/10th of the amount of money needed for 1- synthetic field is needed to improve and maintain that grass field over 10 years.  In a world of tight budgets, spending to improve and maintain 10 existing grass fields correctly instead of building 1 synthetic will make a significant difference.

Additionally, to build and maintain a quality grass field that is rainout proof, 1/3 to 1/2 of the monetary investment of a synthetic field is required over 10 years. See more basic expense figures here: Grass v synthetic, The numbers 

Playability:

Natural grass fields can be built and maintained to meet playability needs based on level, demand, and budget.  Grass can be maintained to fit the level of surface that is needed.  Slow, fast, soft, firm, wet, dry. All factors can be controlled.

On maintained grass the ball always “rolls”, allowing players to predict ball movement. Skin burns and abrasions aren’t common with grass.  That fact allows players to attack aggressively and naturally without fear of injury.  And that same grass surface has a temperature below the outdoor temperature, naturally cooling the area for players.  See more thoughts on playability: Artificial turf makes no sense for soccer 

Environmental/ Health impact:

Natural grass is just that… natural. The environmental benefits of grass are many.  And all-natural, natural grass that needs no EPA approved pesticides is near because of improved grass genetics, evolving maintenance practices, and new technology for pest control.  More positives from natural grass are:

  • Filters pollutants from storm water as it soaks back into the soil
  • Reduces noise pollution by up to 40%
  • Cools the ambient air temperature
  • Produces oxygen (1 field/ yr produces enough to supply up to 128 people)
  • Reduces CO2 (1 field/ yr removes the equivalent emitted by a car driving 6,000 miles)

With acres of park and stadium fields around the world, the good of grass has a huge positive impact on players and society.  See more details: Healthy lawn, healthy environment 

Innovation for durability and player safety:

The tools used for grass fields improve daily. Creative thinking and technology offer a wide range of innovation for grass fields.

Grass breeding and genetics: Grasses, both warm & cool season, are now available that grow twice as fast and are double as durability as standard, accepted grasses.

Technology for plant feeding and health: Environmentally friendly fertilizers have been developed for healthy grass growth. These products are created in cooperation with government regulations to protect the environment.  The friendly fertilizers help produce thick, strong grass that the EPA has endorsed as important for ground-water filtration.

Development of safety and durability tools: A wide range of safety and durability tools are available to be used on grass fields. Systems to absorb energy and reduce surface hardness and injury potential are available.  Products that provide surface stability to eliminate slipping and divoting have been developed.  No longer is it just grass and dirt.  Innovation is advancing possibilities of grass fields.

Human Element:

Natural grass is economical, player friendly, good for the environment, and continues to improve with innovation. But ultimately the biggest advantage grass fields have is the human care they receive from dedicated turfgrass managers.  Existing turfgrass managers, provided with a few tools, can produce a low-cost, environmentally friendly field. In an age of needed job creation, committing money to maintain grass fields instead of building synthetic will create numerous new environmentally friendly jobs in the sports & park industry.

There is an immediate need for safe, quality playing fields.  The fields needed ALREADY EXIST!   But “if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten”.  It’s no longer acceptable to spend little to no money to maintain an existing grass field but then turn to a million dollar synthetic field.  Yes, a simple commitment to improvement and maintenance of natural grass fields can provide the answer!

NBC News: How Safe is the Artificial Turf Your Child Plays On?

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13 thoughts on “Grass IS the Answer!

  1. groundsmaiden mezski JeradRMinnick TurfRepublic hear, hear! Where are kids supposed to get money to pay to hire 3G anyway?

  2. TurfRepublic NBCNews JeradRMinnick SHPFC GlancingHdr cboehm MilaMimica1 nbcwashington AthleticBiz NRPA_news MeredithAdams23

  3. Absolutely right on. Some cities like NY and I think LA have already realized that artificial turf is a bad deal for so many reasons and have banned it. Other cities, like my own SF, are fighting a hard battle over this and there are hints of corruption in the background.

  4. I don’t if I agree with the idea that natural grass can completely control conditions. Nothing beats synthetic turf for consistency. If you’re going to play competitively, I think it’s worth the cost to have a turf field installed. And the maintenance cost once it’s installed is much lower. http://www.aviewturf.net.au

  5. My wife and I just moved into this new home, and are trying to figure a few things out. We noticed that our neighbors actually had turf in their backyard instead of grass. I was very curious if that is something I should do, or not. So I really appreciate you talking about this. I definitely feel like natural grass is a lot saver, and more playable like you said. This really helped clear up some of my confusion about this. http://www.perthturfsupplies.com.au

  6. JeradRMinnick cboehm TheBolivianYank twelfthyank TurfRepublic Q – are you using fertilizers/weed/pest control? If so, r any friendly?

  7. 24x7soccerus hey there! Very limited amounts. Yes, very friendly! EPA tested & regulated and being applied by State licensed applicators

  8. HartCommonGC TheBBDFL rda247 GaryGsr
    Certainly!
    And indoor/Dome structures!!
    We need to adapt to changing weather conditions

  9. bbdjfl TheBBDFL rda247 GaryGsr over 100mm of wet sunshine already in December something needs to change. not sure about the surfaces

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