'Like that knee you skinned when you were 10, the grass field heals, and doesn't age like a spent widget"
Another thing to remember: the working life of artificial turf is said to be ten years. Like anything artificial, this’ll be pretty much a straight-line progression (maybe regression or retrogression would be a better usage) so at year five, the kids will be playing on something somewhat worn, likely smelly, and definitely hot. At year nine or ten, when a future Board and electorate are wrestling with replacement, the sensory perception of this torrid surface will be quite unappealing, to say the least.
Contrast that with a well-drained and well managed natural cool turf field. Like that knee that you skinned when you were ten, the grass field heals over and doesn’t age like a spent widget. The kids should play on a resilient, cool and earthy field – not a surface from a video game. Ants scurry between the blades of grass, worms tunnel beneath it, the rhizomes of the grass plants spread the living carpet to heal any empty spots. The fragrant ground is a little different after a sun shower than before, a little greener in May than November - it’s not a monochrome, but neither is life. To willingly put young athletes out onto the hot stinky made-for-TV carpet that is artificial turf seems a terrible disservice to them.
Make no mistake, the recent turf management program at the school fields has been sub-optimal. Partly, I believe that the decade-old push within the Board for artificial surfaces may have diminished any resolve to institute proper turf management. Nonetheless, a well-designed and well-kept natural grass field trumps all comers, in cost and especially in quality of life for the athletes, neighbors and wildlife.
Irvington Parents Forum
"Every loose foreign object, no matter how small, can damage your field..."
Maintaining grass is a picnic compared to maintaining artificial turf.
Letter to the editor