I am Warwick resident and a former college level athletic director with training and experience in designing, and managing the construction of, athletic facilities. The proposed school budget includes over a million dollars for the replacement of the high school’s athletic field’s natural grass with artificial turf (plastic). This is a huge mistake for the following reasons:
Artificial surfaces do not biodegrade the animal droppings that inevitably get deposited on the athletic fields, or the body fluids that result from field injuries. As a result the fields must be chemically sanitized on a regular if not daily basis.
Artificial turf results in a higher rate of head and joint injuries due to less shock absorbency and increased likelihood of skin abrasions. A potential liability.
Surface temperature of artificial turf is similar to asphalt pavement, about 20 to 50 degrees higher than natural turf. Another potential liability.
Runoff from an artificial turf fields contain sloughed off plastic molecules that will enter the local streams and water table. Also, installing this type of unsustainable material gives the students the wrong message.
I am sure the administration believes that this change will reduce maintenance costs. But, they have not done their homework. An abundance of information is available that demonstrates that there are no actual cost savings, especially in the light of the increased liabilities and environmental issues.