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Reader says, "All you "fiscally responsible" folks — artificial turf, like that at Maple, is the way to go"

>You are sadly misinformed. The flooding in Maple Field this spring left that field far better off than it would have been if it had still been natural grass. Where do you get your info, anyway? Didn’t mommy teach you not to listen to rumors? Get the facts, jack!

Let’s go back a few months, to a very informative post on April 19, 2007, on this blog:

“Last weekend NJ had the highest recorded rainfall over 48 hours in over 120 years…more than hurricane Floyd. The RFD has pumped out 180 basements and has 100 to go. Apparently there has only been one heavier rainfall in a 48 hour period since records have been kept on such things.The result was that every field in Ridgewood’s flood plain (Maple, Stevens, RHS, Stevens, Vets and Brookside) was heavily flooded. In some cases, like at Stevens, the newly deposited clay on the baseball diamonds was completely washed away. As happened in hurricane Floyd, large amounts of debris and a heavy layer of silt/mud was deposited on the fields, particularly Maple, Stevens and Vets. If not for the debris and silt, Maple was dry enough for play on Tuesday. Brookside may not be dry enough to play on for 2-3 weeks. Stevens, Vets and RHS will probably not be dry enough until sometime next week. The bigger problem is the silt that was deposited on the fields. After hurricane Floyd, the mud on the fields could not be removed and it killed the grass. In the case of Maple, the field was scraped down below the roots and resodded at the expense of approximately $25,000 (just for Maple). The field was then closed for several months to allow the sod to take root, thus eliminating a full season of play. Reportedly, this is exactly what is being considered for parts of Vets and Stevens. It would also have been considered at Maple, if the field was still grass.Fortunately, this time the mud can be removed from Maple because of the synthetic surface. The rubber and sand infill did not wash away in the storm. However, in the worst case scenario, a small amount of the infill may be removed with the mud and silt. If this is the happens, the infill is inexpensive and can easily be replaced in a day or two of grooming. Thus, while this storm was as bad as it could have been and will require some clean up, it did not result in any permanent damage to Maple Field. Nor was any of the landscaping around the park damaged. Maple field will be back in use weeks before the other fields affected.”

As another poster said on that day,
“…it is becoming more and more clear that we need more turf fields in town.” Hear hear. All you “fiscally responsible” folks — artificial turf, like that at Maple, is the way to go. What a success that field renovation has been!

15 thoughts on “Reader says, "All you "fiscally responsible" folks — artificial turf, like that at Maple, is the way to go"

  1. >How short sighted some people are. Our future depends on good use of remaining open space. Any time we can go natural;real grass and trees] everyone benefits. We live in a world where compromise reins. Good quality grass fields is both financially responsible and environmentally responsible.

  2. >Linda is right…the environment is the primary concern.
    By the way, the second draft of the Open Space recommendations is available on the town web site…$27M to upgrade / create the fields /parks in our town.

  3. >I hate to disagree, Linda and anon., but you are basing your opinion on emotion and not on fact. If you were talking about a meadow out in the wilderness, that would be one thing, but we are talking about fields which are heavily used for sports and recreation by the children of Ridgewood. The conversion of Maple to FieldTurf has already resulted in out-of-pocket cost savings, specifically re: the storm aftermath. Also, over time, the turf costs less to maintain — you guys think grass is natural so it must be “free.” Not true. The amount of water used to keep our grass fields usuable is HUGE. The amount of fertilizer is costly. And every time there’s a large storm or drought or other natural occurence that kills the grass, or every few years when the grass is overused into oblivion, it must be re-seeded at best or re-sodded, which happens all the time and is expensive.

    Concerned about the environment? Consider the effect of the over-watering of our fields (using up precious water) and the chemical fertilizers Ridgewood puts on the ground, leaching into our earth. That is the reality.

    Finally, there are indirect savings. When you look at the ability of Maple to host more kids and more sports, it helps alleviate our field shortage — and takes the pressure off our other fields. Having Maple this past year meant that some of our grass fields were used less — meaning the grass was saved (and money was saved not having to cope with overuse).

    Yes, ONE ASPECT of our future depends on “good use of remaining open space.” But “good use” also means “smart use.” Converting a portion of the rec fields in Ridgewood to FieldTurf would help the grass fields to flourish, even with our large numbers of youth in sports. You said compromise reigns — well compromise would mean some turf, some grass. All-grass is not a compromise and, actually, it makes me feel irresponsible to the overall environment.

  4. >I didn’t realize my name would be published but it serves me right because I just said to a friend that I believed the Blog would be better served if one had to use their name. I guess I was being put to the test. Thank you for not commenting on my spelling errors! I have given packets of info regarding grass fields/turf to the council members, Bd. of Ed. members and other significant people in the community. My goal was to inform the community about the benefits of grass fields to the athlete and the community. Many of my friends are in the sports fields because I went to Cortland many years ago. All of them prefer grass to artificial turf because of incresed temps on artificial turf, wear and tear on the athlete and now the threat of a new strain of staph infection that has crept into the sports world associated with artificial turf. However many places in the US still have the luxury of space and so are not as limited in accomodating the needs of a community. Ridgewood was over developed and now open space is at a premium. The benefits of grass include the exchange of carbon dioixde for oxygen, natural cooling and cleaning properties to name just a few. I sat on a committee in the 80,s that looked at our fields and decided that Maple Field could benefit the entire community by placing a grass playing field in the center surrounded by natural vegetation. I feel that this was an excellent compromise and served us well for many years. I was told that Maple Field was being maintained at a cost of 11,000 dollars per year. Even if that cost had been increased 3 times to improve the field, it wouled be 30 years before we had spent !,000,000 dollars { the cost of an artificial turf field]. I love the landscaping and the upgrades at Maple but if the green in the center was natural, I would be donating money instead of worrying about the consequences. I understand the increased need for fields as enrollment in sports continues to rise and we want all kids who want to participate to be able to do so. I have talked to many landscapers who tell me that the quality of new grass blends on the market are so superior to the old ones, that grass fields would be far more durable and able to handle more useage. With the master plan being reviewed in September, it is my hope that figures will be obtained on the use of natural grass and that it will be considered. Ridgewood has always been known for its leadership in quality of life issues. Why can’t we be also known for having the finest grass playing fields in the area? I can guarentee that in the coming years, laws will mandate a better use of our natural resources. How better to show our kids how we can treat our environment with care and still not loose essential aspects of sports and recreation.

  5. >what a waste of money.

  6. >Linda – you go girl…
    the vokal minority run the show…
    the bearded wonder, little stevie and il duce have the boe and vc nodding their heads with “fighting obesity” and other mindless canards…
    never give an inch….
    let’s take the village back…!

  7. >I’ve lived in town for over twenty years and I’ve yet to see anyone water any field in Ridgewood.

  8. >7:52 – I’ve been here 15 and I would have to agree with you. I may has seen the HS field watered once or twice but I can’t really remember. Perhaps they water in the wee hours of the morning. Do they actually water and fertilze?

  9. >If we had better administrators, then we could count on them to do things the right way more often than not.

    I remember just last fall driving by the High School field and seeing a flock of geese sitting on the grass surrounding what were fake dog cutouts.

    It was a scream.

    But that is how our village solves problems.

    They don’t.

  10. >sounds like peter j is basing his opinion on emotion … we all know how emotional men get … their all just big babies sometimes

  11. >Wha??? What emotion? Yeah, ok, I guess I get emotional when I hear people being illogical about things that affect my quality of life and that of my kids’. Get the facts about the type of turf at Maple. That field is now a treasure and it will save us all money for years to come. And yes, I have seen fields watered and yes it is usually at night.

  12. >I think Peter J is one of the softball trustees…

    I could be wrong.

    Drive over to Maple tmrw and help Tim Cronin pull out the crab grass that’s taking over the turf….

  13. >How does Maple Field’s artificial turf help in breaking down Fecal Coliform? Also, the so-called landscaping was nothing more than a slash and burn of most of the vegetation along Northern Parkway and Meadowbrook. Light streams through there like never before. I know the next step is to install bleechers into the landscaping. One day, they will just appear out of nowhere and nobody will know nothing. Mum’s the word.

  14. >In the highly unusual instance that “Fecal Coliform” finds its way onto the sythetic field from the up stream sewage treatment facility…as it did in April, the water drains through the surface at the rate of approx. 1 gallon/sq. ft./minute (much better than grass). The fecal coliform is then breaks down as it is heated by the sun…similar to natural grass (exept much faster), according to the DEP.

    In the case of last April’s flood, the field was dry within 24 hours and approved for use in less than 48 hours, while Vets, Stevens and RHS remained covered in water and closed for many more days.

  15. as soon as someone becomes a council member, they start being approached by vendors / contractors who want them to spend our money. they get brain washed too quickly.

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