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There is no way that natural grass would stand up to Varsity, JV, and Freshman games in football, soccer and lacrosse in both boys and girls sports.

In Uncategorized on September 30, 2008 at 4:48 pm

If you look at the Fields and Rec Master Plan and understand what drove some of the recommendations you will understand why the plan calls for “turf” at both Stevens and the “RHS Stadium.” The committee looked at all sports, not just football. The school administrators, coaches and teams are all very interested in playing as many games in as many sports as possible at all levels “on campus.” Currently the various teams play all over the place, some on substandard fields without available restrooms, locker rooms etc… With the lack of room on Stevens and the Stadium Field the best way for this to be accomplished would be to move the track to BF (increase it to 400 meters like every other HS in America) and “turf” both of the fields. The resulting larger space at the HS Stadium will allow both boys and girls soccer and boys and girls lacrosse games at both the varsity and sub varsity levels to play their games on a quality field in a beautiful setting in front of the HS with access to restrooms, locker rooms, and athletic trainers. It would also allow Stevens to be used for more than just football practice as the resulting damage every fall pretty much makes Stevens unusuable for big chunks of the rest of the year.

There is no way that natural grass would stand up to Varsity, JV, and Freshman games in football, soccer and lacrosse in both boys and girls sports. I think everyone would agree if we had the space and the resources to maintain grass fields to the level they should be maintained we would all choose grass over “turf.” Unfortunately that is not possible with the limited fields controlled by the BOE combined with the number of teams and the number of participants in the various sports and thus “turf” becomes the next option.

GigaGolf, Inc.

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  1. Let’s see.

    For starters there is no women’s football. That’s one down.

    LAX, men and women’s, play at Maple. That’s three down.

    So what is left, a hand full of football games and maybe soccer.

    Turf Stevens and be down with this silly notion.

  2. Many people have made these points many times…I just want to say THANK YOU for clearly explaining it AGAIN. It is so freakin’ obvious. Our student athletes have been shortchanged for years, with no real money being invested in sports facilities. It is a shame that our HS students are shuttled all over town, right past the on-campus field. I really really really hope the BOE and the Village can get together on this soon and bring some kind of steps for making progress on that master plan for recreation/sports/etc

  3. The resulting larger space at the HS Stadium will allow both boys and girls soccer and boys and girls lacrosse games at both the varsity and sub varsity levels to play their games on a quality field in a beautiful setting in front of the HS with access to restrooms, locker rooms, and athletic trainers.

    In addition, it would allow many more high school gym classes to be held outdoors, rather than keeping the kids inside to protect the grass fields.

    “Turf” the Stadium and Stevens!

  4. The last I heard, a regulation size soccer field could not be configured in the space. Is this still true?

  5. Toxic turf
    Tuesday, June 24, 2008
    Comment on this story Email this story Printer friendly version Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size

    THOUGH TOXIC to children in particular, lead is a malleable, durable and generally useful metal. In places where it’s not restricted — say, the United States decades ago or some developing countries today — it’s employed widely and indiscriminately.

    But none of that prepared anyone for the discovery of high levels of lead in the artificial turf used for expensive, state-of-the-art athletic fields right here in North Jersey. That first-world manufacturers would use lead for a children’s playing surface, apparently without an upfront warning to schools and others who bought it, seems more surprising than any lead-tainted toy from China.

    The anxiety over poisonous athletic fields started last year, when state health officials stumbled upon the problem while testing for lead contamination from a scrap metal plant in Newark. They found high levels of the metal on a nearby athletic field, but the source was the nylon-based AstroTurf itself. (Lead compounds are used to keep the turf’s green pigment from fading.)

    The state expanded its testing to other fields, prompting Bergen County, some of its school districts and others to test their own artificial fields — wise decisions. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an advisory recommending testing of some fields, as well as precautions for those playing on them. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission also is investigating the matter.

    The CDC and other experts expect whatever danger exists to be from deteriorating AstroTurf fields, not the newer, polyethylene-based artificial fields made by FieldTurf Tarkett of Montreal. But some independent tests, including those conducted for the Northern Valley and Ramapo-Indian Hills regional high school districts, have indicated high lead levels on FieldTurf fields — several times the amount the state considers safe in residential soil.

    There are reasons to believe this may not pose a serious threat to children’s health. Lead has to be ingested or inhaled to cause poisoning, so the fields won’t be dangerous if the metal is safely contained and not producing dust. Even lead paint, which was banned nationwide 30 years ago, can be safe if it is well-maintained.

    Still, it seems the turf makers should have chosen another material, or carefully explained why the lead in their products does not pose a danger. And they should be taking pains to make amends with worried educators, parents and the rest of the public. That is not quite the sense we’ve gotten from some of their recent statements.

    For example, a FieldTurf spokesman recently emphasized that there had not been a single poisoning linked to the company’s products. That’s probably true, but it would be tough to establish such a link even if it did exist. Lead poisoning often manifests itself in subtle ways over time, and it can be difficult to trace — especially to artificial turf that no one suspected of being toxic.

    For another example, a recent letter from FieldTurf to local officials reads more like an advertisement for the “FieldTurf system” than what we might expect from a company that seems to have so much explaining to do.

    As the letter boasts, artificial turf saves a lot of water, fertilizer, pesticides and maintenance. But this whole episode probably will — and absolutely should — dramatically increase the appeal of another green-pigmented fibrous material sometimes used for athletic surfaces: grass.

    THOUGH TOXIC to children in particular, lead is a malleable, durable and generally useful metal. In places where it’s not restricted — say, the United States decades ago or some developing countries today — it’s employed widely and indiscriminately.

    But none of that prepared anyone for the discovery of high levels of lead in the artificial turf used for expensive, state-of-the-art athletic fields right here in North Jersey. That first-world manufacturers would use lead for a children’s playing surface, apparently without an upfront warning to schools and others who bought it, seems more surprising than any lead-tainted toy from China.

    The anxiety over poisonous athletic fields started last year, when state health officials stumbled upon the problem while testing for lead contamination from a scrap metal plant in Newark. They found high levels of the metal on a nearby athletic field, but the source was the nylon-based AstroTurf itself. (Lead compounds are used to keep the turf’s green pigment from fading.)

    The state expanded its testing to other fields, prompting Bergen County, some of its school districts and others to test their own artificial fields — wise decisions. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an advisory recommending testing of some fields, as well as precautions for those playing on them. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission also is investigating the matter.

    The CDC and other experts expect whatever danger exists to be from deteriorating AstroTurf fields, not the newer, polyethylene-based artificial fields made by FieldTurf Tarkett of Montreal. But some independent tests, including those conducted for the Northern Valley and Ramapo-Indian Hills regional high school districts, have indicated high lead levels on FieldTurf fields — several times the amount the state considers safe in residential soil.

    There are reasons to believe this may not pose a serious threat to children’s health. Lead has to be ingested or inhaled to cause poisoning, so the fields won’t be dangerous if the metal is safely contained and not producing dust. Even lead paint, which was banned nationwide 30 years ago, can be safe if it is well-maintained.

    Still, it seems the turf makers should have chosen another material, or carefully explained why the lead in their products does not pose a danger. And they should be taking pains to make amends with worried educators, parents and the rest of the public. That is not quite the sense we’ve gotten from some of their recent statements.

    For example, a FieldTurf spokesman recently emphasized that there had not been a single poisoning linked to the company’s products. That’s probably true, but it would be tough to establish such a link even if it did exist. Lead poisoning often manifests itself in subtle ways over time, and it can be difficult to trace — especially to artificial turf that no one suspected of being toxic.

    For another example, a recent letter from FieldTurf to local officials reads more like an advertisement for the “FieldTurf system” than what we might expect from a company that seems to have so much explaining to do.

    As the letter boasts, artificial turf saves a lot of water, fertilizer, pesticides and maintenance. But this whole episode probably will — and absolutely should — dramatically increase the appeal of another green-pigmented fibrous material sometimes used for athletic surfaces: grass.

  6. Do you know how painful it is to fall on a turf field? It scrapes your skin like sandpaper – turf is abrasive. Grass is much softer and also looks nicer.

  7. In order for the RHS field to accommodate regulation soccer, the track would need to be moved. That’s why I understood the master plan includes that recommendation — moving the track to BF allows the RHS field to be resized properly for maximum usage. Also, with the track gone, the RHS field can be used for lacrosse in the spring, simultaneous to track and field.

  8. In an effort to recycle the growing waste piles of used tires, manufacturers across the country have begun making artificial turf out of the discarded rubber. They are using scrap tires as crumb rubber in-fill on playing fields, as shredded loose fill around playgrounds, as composite solid playing surfaces, and even as landscaping mulch. While it seems an environmentally-friendly option at face value, there is growing concern over the potential impacts these materials may have on children’s health. Initial research shows potential chemical and heavy metal leaching depending on a wide variety of external factors, like climate, rainwater pH, and usage. Overall, it’s better to be safe than sorry and we should put a moratorium on using recycled tires where our children play until more extensive research has been conducted.

  9. Who’s going to pay to remove and replace it after the next flood? Location is everything. Putting a toxic turf field in a flood plain is a bad idea and big waste of money. Look at the damage at Maple! Wrinkled carpet and the crumb rubber mixed with silt deposits from the last flood. It didn’t drain and dry as advertised.

  10. Because natural grass can sequester carbon dioxide, replacing it with plastic doesn’t help the fight against global warming!!!!!

    Artificial turf is prone to heating up — some estimates figure it can hit 160 degrees Fahrenheit on a hot day — and raises the temperature of the entire playing area, it could make scrapes and bruises even worse.

  11. What does moving the track have to do with whether or not we turf RHS Stadium?

  12. Here we go again! Instead of reacting to potential threats and estimates, and grass industry propaganda, why not deal with real facts from right here: our actual field at Maple was tested and there were NO dangerous levels of lead or other toxins. It was also tested for temperature on an extremely hot day and the temperature at the ground was not much different than the temperature of the grass at Vets. I think that carries more weight than outdated scientific studies in conditions that don’t exist in the real world. I’m a realist I guess.

  13. Look at the damage at Maple!

    Maple needs a small retaining wall to protect it from the runoff from the nearby brook (the one between Maple & Graydon).

    Even still, Maple is FAR more utilizable then it was a natural grass field. RSA Maroons play soccer games on the field the day after major rainstorms. When it was a natural grass field, Maple was be closed for 1-2 WEEKS after a major storm.

  14. Good point 2:28. They need to figure how to stop the field from flooding THEN have the turf vs. grass debate.

  15. 6:55 PM –

    You are looking like a “do-no-wrong” apologist… you are not helping your cause.

  16. It is incredible that people continue to post incorrect and misleading information regarding the "turf" vs. grass debate. "Turf" may not be the preferred surface from an emotional or nostalgic perspective. But, it is the best alternative to address our needs on SOME fields in town. The safety and environmental questions have all been debunked since the June article (post 1:49) by various investigations sponsored government and municipal entities in NJ and CT. DEP will not permit any measure to prevent flooding, regardless of whether a field is grass or "turf". It is time to acknowledge the facts, not the fiction and fear mongering represented in some of the posts above. The Village's collective experience at Maple has been overwhelmingly positive. Previously we had no experience with "turf" and Parks & Rec has gone through a learning curve. They are beginning to understand that this surface is a "low maintenance", not a "no maintenance" surface. With a modest amount of proper maintenance, it is clear that "turf" will provide years of safe and dependable use.

    Thank you for the lucid and factual explanation in the original post.

  17. I like the retaining wall idea behind Maple…like our own little levee. Great idea actually…why hasn’t it been raised before? Might as well add one along Stephens and RHS too.

  18. Where will the money come from? They will be asking for 3.8 million for Willard alone.

  19. In my opinion we should put in a turf field at the high school way before we spend millions on other capitial improvements. If you look around at other schools you will find nearly all are installing them for the obvious reasons. As you go down the list of high schools in the area RHS has one of the worst fields and even much worse school districts have managed to install these fields. We do a disservice to our students by not installing a turf field like the one at Maple.

  20. what 9:37 said

    Artificial turf fields make the most sense in terms of economics and utilization. Taxpayers and the kids both win.

  21. Pave it and paint it green.

  22. Anonymous said…
    Pave it and paint it green.

    Good idea, you could park on it too.

  23. Is this what they mean when they talk about a “turf war”?

  24. Spend the money on science labs instead of turf fields. The economic future of America depends on us turning out more technically skilled college graduates, not more lacrosse players.

  25. ok. this is a test.

  26. Didn’t we vote on this in a referendum a few years back. We said no!!! Glossy mailings sponsored by some of leagues came in the mail asking us to vote yes, we said no then and I still say no.

    Keep it Green.

  27. Maybe I’m a little slow but do we think Chuck Johnson (ChuJo) gave up the home game to prove a point….?

  28. Considering the field was in great shape because the rain never really materialized I think you are on to something….

    But they won away and didn’t get any grass stains on their uniforms let alone a little bit of mud.

  29. How many of our graduates go to competitive colleges on academic merit and how many on sports merit. The number would tell it all. Sports are very important to our youth but a balance is needed. I’m embarrassed that in a time in our lives when we should try to clean up our world you have a group of parents that think it’s necessary to add to the pollution. Our kids do just fine with what we have. I’m sure I’m not alone that if a practice is cancelled for weather it’s a not a bad thing to have dinner as a family at a reasonable hour.

  30. Grow up 9:13AM.

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