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Organic Grass Playing Fields

Natural Grass Playing Field Case Study: Springfield, MA

  Springfield’s organic management of natural grass has eliminated the need for pesticides, while providing a practical playing surface that fully meets the needs of athletes and others who use the parks. The Parks Department also notes that their field management choices help to protect water quality in the Connecticut River. This case study provides detailed information on the number of hours played at three parks in Springfield: two large complexes and one single, full-sized soccer field. Communities wishing to estimate the number of playable hours on a soccer field can use Treetop Park, the full-sized soccer field, as the most relatable model of the three parks discussed here. Treetop Park is used for approximately 1,050 hours of practice, play, and informal activity annually. Download PDF file (947.90 kB)

Natural Grass Playing Field Case Study: Marblehead, MA

  THE TOWN OF MARBLEHEAD, Massachusetts, has managed all of its playing fields organically since 2002. This approach had its origins in a policy adopted by Marblehead’s Board of Health in 1998, which noted the adverse health and environmental effects of pesticides and made a commitment to protecting children’s health. The town has achieved its performance goals by focusing on building and maintaining a healthy ecosystem with active microbial life in the soil and a strong root system. Key elements of the program are frequent aeration, frequent mowing, soil testing, and the use of organic fertilizer and soil amendments. Download PDF file (1.23 MB)