Sadly, you both are lacking significant facts and have fallen victim to the "junk science"

In Uncategorized on April 21, 2008 at 6:46 am

Sadly, you both are lacking significant facts and have fallen victim to the “junk science” websites that continue to promote bogus questions about “turf”, generically. There are various manufacturers and designs of turf.

We have over a year of experience with Field Turf at Maple Park field and there is over a decade of detailed scientific information in response to every question that has ever been raised about Field Turf. This is not an experimental product with unknown issues. So, if you want to discuss our experience at Maple Park, let’s talk specifics. Your vague claims and condemnations are pointless unless you have facts to support them.

What environmental problems has the turf at Maple Park created? If you have specific issues at Maple Park to discuss, let’s hear them.

What injuries have been related to the field surface at Maple Park that would not have occurred on the previous dirt/grass, since the installation of Field Turf? Have there been ANY such injuries?

You seem to presume that there is no cost associated with natural fields. In fact, Parks & Rec stated that the annual maintenance costs for the natural surface at Maple was $35K. In other words, we taxpayers paid approximately $350K over the past 10 years to maintain a “dirt” field at Maple that flooded with mild rains due to an inadequate drainage system, making it unusable about 30% of the time.

The new field surface has a sophisticated drainage system that allows it to be used over 98% of the time and has dramatically reduced run-off into the flood plain and HoHoKus Brook. It is expected to last 12 years or more. During that time, the maintenance cost savings to Ridgewood taxpayers will cover most, if not all, of the expense to resurface the field. In the meantime we will have benefited from a dramatically more productive and versatile facility that has great first stride toward reducing the demands on our inadequate field resources for the BOE and Village.

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  1. Can anyone out there address the issue of those little plastic pellets that the kids get on their shoes,bring into the house, and also get washed into the brook? The are the tiny cushioning pellets.

  2. Can someone tell me the status of making use of the Habernickel tract…..?

  3. Habernickel?

    What a waste of money.

    I walked the property recently. It is of no use to the taxpayers of Ridgewood, except for the field now used in the front of the property.

    I haven’t a clue why we bought a $10 million, small size soccer field.

    That money could have been used for so many other faciities to lessen the burdon on our fields and gyms.

    But no, Jane wanted “open space.”

  4. Those little black rubber pellets cause blisters when they gwet in your shoes.


  5. PJ whats up the BOE is closed today so not as many nasty comments?

  6. to 7:47…

    The black pellets (infill) are cryogenicly treated/cleaned and precisely sized recycled rubber from tires (metal, etc. removed)and, in the case of Maple Park, old Nike shoes (Nike Grind). Not all recycled rubber products, such as fake mulch used as ground cover, go through the same comprehensive cryogenic treatment process. The infill does not float and does not get washed into the Brook. It would take strong and steady rushing water over the field surface for a sustained period of time to carry even a small amount of infill into the brook. This does not occur at Maple Park, or any other field location along the brook in Ridgewood, even during a flood.

    The comment made by 11:25 is incorrect and is another case of uninformed “misinformation” by the anti-turf crowd. These pellets are no different than getting grains of sand in your shoes. These pellets don’t cause blisters, rashes or abrasions from contact with the human skin any more than holding your hand against a car tire would. The pellets are inert. In fact, although it is not recommended, if the pellets are accidentially ingested by a human or animal, they will quickly pass through the digestive system without adverse health implications.

    While the infill poses no health risk at all, if you are concerned about kids tracking it into your house, you may want to ask your kids to wipe their feet or remove the pellets from their shoes before coming into the house, as they would with dried dirt on their shoes.

    I hope that helps.

  7. “These pellets don’t cause blisters, rashes or abrasions from contact with the human skin any more than holding your hand against a car tire would.”

    I’m not the poster who noted that the pellets cause blisters but that’s exactly what happened to my daughter. She got a ginormous blister on her big toe because she did not remove the pellets from her sneaker.

    Tell your kids that after playing on a turf field that they must, must clean out their shoes. That will solve the problem of blisters.

    BTW: I like the turf field and I’m not against having them in our village.

  8. Useable life = 12 years = $35K x 12 = $420K. Installation alone was near $1 million. Removal and disposal of how many tons of plastic, a known environmental disaster = ????????????????????. Economics does not support the cost savings of turf vs. dirt.

  9. To 4:59…

    there you go spreading misinformation without the facts in hand again…

    The cost to refurbish Maple Park was around $1mm. However, that involved significant expenses like a baseball backstop, fencing to prevent balls from going into the woods, a removable net to prevent balls from going into the parking lot (and improve safety for spectators), a new scoreboard, a flagpole and over $200K in landscaping, new bushes and trees. The actual cost of the field and drainage system was just over $700K. When the field surface is eventually replaced in 12 years or so, the drainage system (the majority of the expense) will remain in place. Only the surface will be replaced, which will cost about 50% of the cost of a new installation. That INCLUDES the removal/disposal/recycling of the old surface.

    There is no environmental disaster waiting to happen and the economics are very much in favor of turf in situations like Ridgewood’s, where demand for fields exceeds our available field resources and maintenance costs are not only excessive, but do not provide acceptable results. Take a walk past Stevens Field tomorrow and let us know if you think Ridgewood’s tax dollars are being well spent to maintain that “grass” field. It is a disgrace and that is exactly what Maple Park used to look like.

    All of this information has been clearly presented over and over again. The facts are not going to change just because you keep making the same inaccurate claims.

  10. As a parent/coach, I feel like the turf on Maple Field has been a HUGE improvement over what the field used to be. As a result, the kids are able to get much more time playing outdoors. I’m all for doing the same on additional Ridgewood fields.

  11. Ask the Maple Field area residents if they like the field…

    The Lacrosse dads should have budgeted for new curtains for the 10 homes affected by the lighting…..

  12. When is the BOE going to turf Stevens and the HS stadium? As a parent of a HS athlete AND a younger child in the rec program(s), I find it interesting the the HS uses BF but they havent spent a penny to install or maintain it. Yes, I am happy that my oldest gets to play some of her games there. But seems to me that the HS athletic department got a pretty sweet deal. Zero cost.. zero politics… all the advantages. When is the HS stadium and Stevens set to be redone?

  13. 10:21…

    For clarification, portable lights have been used at Maple Field (and other fields) for over 10 years with no complaint. The installation of synthetic turf at Maple Park had NO IMPACT on the use of lights at that field. The hours of field use (and light use) established by the fields committee are identical for grass and turf fields. So, concern over lights has nothing to do with the installation of turf fields in Ridgewood.

    However, the biggest impact of the portable lights on ANY field in town is the noise of the generator. The need for (and use of) lights in early spring and late fall will not go away. If the neighbors around Maple Park truly object to the noise or light from the portable generators, the solution is simple, although slightly counter-intuitive. They should request that the town install new permanent lights. This will eliminate 100% of the noise and lighting “spillover” into their yards or windows. The reason for this is that the portable lights are old technology flood lights, intended to illuminate work sites, which cannot be raised high enough to direct the light down. With today’s design-specific directional lighting mounted at an optimal height, it is posible to eliminate virtually all ambient light within 30 feet of the field.

    Please refrain from complaining about the outdated lights at Vets. These are not representative of what is possible with today’s latest designs.

  14. to 1:08PM; yes, in fact the field did get flooded, and lots of silt onto the field; that silt came from the brook, and it washed over the field, so how could the pellets NOT get washed into the brook when the waters receded???? It had to be cleaned, right? It had to be washed down with hoses, right? So the water went back into the brook, with the pellets.

    I’m not saying a health risk, unless you swallow them, thats correct; but it sure is a risk to your brooks, as rubber/plastic or whatever you call it, can be ingested by waterfowl plus don’t do the water any favors. IN fact, you don’t want these tracked in with the clothes, and then in your washing machine as well. So, I’m just saying, nothing is perfect, not even your artificial turf. Stop saying it is perfect.

  15. 12:26…

    No one claimed that turf is perfect. Nor is grass perfect. But, in Ridgewood there is a need for strategic installations of turf fields to compliment our grass fields.

    1:08 was responding to the inaccurate claim that the infill washes into the brook, creating an environmental risk. You are correct that silt did wash onto part of the field shortly after the turf was installed. The silt was carried by heavy rushing water that overflowed the brook toward the field for about 8 hours. However, the water DOES NOT rush back into the brook. If it did, the silt would have been carried back into the brook, rather than being deposited on the field. The fact is that the water that overflowed onto the field did not “recede” to the brook. It drained down into the field’s drainage system, leaving the silt on the field.

    As was stated before, there is no risk of infill being washed into the brook, because there is no rushing water flowing across the field toward the brook. Nor is there risk of this at Stevens or RHS fields.

  16. If they turf the HS fields will girls sports be able to use them?

    I don’t want to spend the money if the girls soccer and lacrosse programs are left out.

    I did not contribute to the maple Project. I think that the turf field is great and I will contribute to the next one.

  17. Since today is Earth Day , let’s look into the carbon footprint of a turf field as opposed to a natural grass field. I can’t answer that question myself but I call upon the Ridgewood Environmental Advisory Committee to offer some facts on the issue. I am somewhat bemused that REAC has been utterly silent on such an issue with unquestionable environmental impact on Ridgewood and our neighbors downstream.

  18. Carbon footprint of a turf field as opposed to a natural grass field…that’s a good one, 5:43.

    Almost thought you were serious there for a minute!

    Here’s a nice “earth day”-relevant quote from Revelations for you to chew on (found it on a rabidly anti-Catholic, apocalypse-obsessing website):

    And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Harm not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”

  19. To 3:26…

    Field time is allocated to the RHS and is up to the Athletic Director to decide which teams are scheduled on each field. However, the boys and girls teams at RHS and boys and girls in youth sports groups have approximately equal access to the Village owned Maple Park. It seems reasonable that the same would be true at a new RHS field.

  20. That is an interesting suggestion, 5:43. I wonder if the REAC would be willing (or has the capablity) to to shed some light on the question? How does one measure the carbon footprint of a field? Also, my guess is that the carbon footprint of a field like Stevens (mostly dirt, like the old Maple Field) will be very different from a field like RHS, which is the best maintained field the Village. Still, an interesting idea…

  21. 11:29

    I think players and coaches alike would argue that the field behind Somerville School is the best playing surface in the Village. That is, until the Village/BOE/Parks and Recreation allowed it to be ruined by a failed irrigation line in the south end of the field. It was easily one of the best grass surfaces in Bergen County, but as a town we screwed it up as well as we possibly could.

  22. 11:29…

    Sounds like you just made the case for more turf installations. Ridgewood doesn’t have the financial budget, expertise or personnel to properly maintain the limited resources we have. That said, the field at RHS is the best cared-for field in town, even though the condition of the field may not look like it. I guess that says it all.

  23. 12:56pm: We have undern maintained our fields for years. That is why they are in such poor condition. Maple Field had a budget of about 11,000 dollars not 35,000 . But at 35,000 dollars, that is 350,000 0ver 10 years. Artificial turf costs approx. 900,000 dollars for installation, will need to be replaced and disposed of and still requires maintenance and does not give back to the environment when not in use. There is no good reason to replace our fields with artificial turf.

  24. The Dalai Lama thinks turf is bad….that’s good enough for me.

  25. To 4:57…

    You are correct that Ridgewood has “under-maintained” our fields for years. But, it is not necessarily the fault of Parks & Rec. It is because the money to maintain them properly does not exist without significantly increasing taxes. Nor do we have sufficient personnel with the requisite expertise & training to give all our fields the attention they need, under the use they get.

    However, you are wrong about the previous cost to maintain Maple Field. The costs, in fact, were approximately $35,000 per year. A little over $10,000 of that was for materials (seed, fertilizer, water, etc) and approximately $25,000 was labor cost. In addition, the lines had to be repainted on the natural surface every 1-2 weeks, which added to labor costs.

    Don’t you people pay attention? If you read the post that appeared at 7:47 (15 posts above this) you would know that the cost for the surface at Maple Park was slightly more than $700K, not $900K. The Village Council approved the contractor’s bid and this is a matter of public record. There is a wide range of costs and options for turf fields. The cost depends entirely upon the final design criteria. So the cost of a field in another town has little bearing on the cost of a field at RHS or Stevens. Let’s try to stick to the facts we know from Maple Park.

    Furthermore, the surface at Maple Park is over 20% larger than a field at RHS or Stevens would be. This is due to the extra area that was added at Maple Park (compared to the old field area) to optimize the outfield area and so that the baseball infield would not extend onto the soccer/lacrosse/football field. This would not be necessary at RHS or possible at Stevens. A turf installation at RHS or Stevens would cost approximately 20% LESS than the cost of Maple Park’s field (excluding any expenses not related to the actual turf installation), particularly if the lines are painted (and removable) instead of permanent.

    Irresponsible and incorrect statements like yours perpetuate the misunderstandings that exist about Field Turf. Is it possible for you to contribute to this discussion without making up data and misleading people? The financial, social and environmental rationale for selectively adding turf fields to compliment our existing natural field has been clearly articulated and makes a great deal of sense to those residents, who are interested in serving the best interest of the broadest number of people in the community, rather than the irrational sensibilities of a select few.

    By the way, I am curious what you think Stevens Field is giving back to the environment. Can you elaborate on that with some factual specifics?

  26. 6:28… that may be the dumbest post I have read on this blog in a long time…stop wasting everyone’s time.

  27. The artificial turf surface at The College of New Jersey is being removed immediately due to high lead content. Like so many other unnatural things thought to be harmless and benign, artificial turf may yet prove to be a ticking time bomb for all who play on it.

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