NBC News ran a story last Wednesday evening and Thursday morning that exposed fears on artificial turf to the general public. Here is the original story: NBC Investigation
With this story and many of the follow up stories, the call is for better research on rubber crumb and organic infills for artificial turf fields.
But instead of waiting for more research for artificial, instead we can all lead the call for better quality NATURAL GRASS fields!!
Artificial turf came into being because of a problem: Grass fields weren’t being maintained or were not taking the heavy use. The general public now thinks that is just always the case: Grass fields just can’t take it heavy play or can’t be used in the rain.
Well now we know that is just not true!! This is the era of better maintenance tools and techniques. Innovation and creativity is expanding. YES, NATURAL GRASS FIELDS CAN TAKE MORE USE!! Always!!
This weekend Turf Republic published a piece by Growing Green Grass founder Jerad Minnick wrote with that theme: A recommitment to natural grass can meet the field needs! Grass IS The Answer! (Also find it below)
Growing Green Grass encourages YOU to take this opportunity to help re-establish positive public thinking towards natural grass fields. Right now around you there are parents, coaches, administrators and lawmakers talking about the concerns of artificial with no idea that natural grass IS the answer. Can you help let those people know the possibilities of grass?
How you ask? Just simply share the positive possibilities of natural grass with people not in the turfgrass/ sports field industry! NATURAL GRASS FIELDS CAN TAKE MORE!
Some things to consider to get the word out to people:
– Share the NBC news story on your social media platforms and through email w/ neighbors, family, friends, school board members and AD’s. These people are not in the turfgrass industry and do not get regular information like you. However, we recommend not to give commentary. Just share the story. Remember that there are people suffering. And there are good people on the other side of this that sell, distribute and market artificial. Additionally, many of your are currently maintaining some artificial turf. Let NBC tell the story, not you.
– Follow up the story from NBC to all of the same people and share the POSITIVE MESSAGE about the possibilities of grass!!! NATURAL GRASS CAN TAKE MORE!
– In your sharing, pass your personal passion and support for the possibilities of grass!! Your passion makes it real for others. They can connect with you and will appreciate your unique skills and experience as part of the natural grass industry.
So SPREAD THE WORD! Remember… STAY POSITIVE
Always feel free to use anything coming from Growing Green Grass (www.growinggreengrass.net) to support your passion. Employ the hashtag #GrassCanTakeMore via social media. TPI and the Lawn Institute have excellent resources on the good of grass as well Lawn Institute Website
THANK YOU for using this opportunity to share the possibilities of grass and shape the bright future of the natural grass sports field industry.
And THANK YOU for your time and consideration.
The Team at Growing Green Grass
Grass IS the Answer!
by Jerad Minnick • 3 days ago
A commitment to the existing grass fields around us can meet the immediate needs for safe, quality playing fields.
TURF REPUBLIC: http://www.turfrepublic.com/2014/10/11/grass-answer/
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:
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
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.
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!