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The Field Fund, Inc. is now a widely-supported community organization committed to reducing toxic chemical use on the porous soils (and federal sole-source-designated aquifer) of the Island of Martha's Vineyard.
- Brendan O'Neill, Executive Director, The Vineyard Conservation Society

The Field Fund 2017-2018

Project Details

Year: 2018
Location: Martha's Vineyard
Project Manager: Mollie Doyle, Rebekah Thomson, Dardanella Slavin


The Field Fund, Inc. was established in 2017 and offers support to all Martha's Vineyard schools and towns seeking to improve or better maintain their fields using organic practices. The Island has a long tradition of providing grass playing fields for physical education, organized sports, pick-up games, and general public enjoyment. To encourage the environmentally responsible maintenance of these fields, this fund supports a range of initiatives including but not limited to:

  • Ongoing maintenance
  • Purchase of materials and equipment
  • Education/training for groundskeepers and other community members
  • Assistance in redesigning existing fields and adjacent playing surfaces, to include tracks and playgrounds

 As part of this natural grass initiative, in the Fall of 2017, The Field Fund, Inc. received a grant from TURI to purchase an $8500 slicing aerator. Aeration is one of the most effective tools for organic grass maintenance, fighting compaction and encouraging healthy root and bio systems.


  • Established an organic maintenance program for 10 school and municipal playing fields
  • Initiated a full renovation of the Oak Bluffs athletic campus, installing two new regulation size U-14 and U-12 fields and a non-potable well for irrigation

The Field Fund's activities to supplant artificial turf playing fields with natural grass fields created widespread discussion across Martha's Vineyard on toxicity and plastics. The island has a ban on the use of plastic bags and is discussing banning plastic straws and bottles, and balloons. Schools are avoiding other toxic playing surfaces, e.g., pour-in-place rubber playground surfacing. 

This page updated Wednesday October 13 2021