Letter: Grass or turf?
First, thanks for the picture of teammate Dave McNaney of the Eldest Statesmen, who were the Vail Lacross Shootout champions this year, in the Sept. 30 article about Vail considering turf for the Ford Park fields. Second, thanks to Charlie Penwill and Chris Chantler for speaking up against replacing grass with artificial turf. Janet Bartnik makes a plausible case for lower cost and longevity .
I will tell you that not all turf fields are created equally. A trip to Denver will show examples of some horrific examples of turf fields. Carlie Smith’s suggestion of $1.5 million cost may be conservative. The digging, leveling and underlying surface material is as important as the best top-quality turf carpet that would be installed on top of the ground preparation. Shouldn’t Vail have the very best field if we are to keep our reputation up? Aspen does.
I wonder about Scott Robson’s point that the fields are the greatest user of water. What about the golf course, some of the town’s green spaces, and private homes?
Brian Stockmar mentioned avoiding polluting fertilizers. With Vail touting its forward-thinking stewardship of the environment, shouldn’t safe, organic applications be used? And Kim Langmaid’s legimate concern of “climate adaptation” can be fulfilled as studies show grass is better than trees for carbon capture.
I don’t know if the Vail Town Council and other concerned decision makers are athletes of any degree or users of artificial turf at their house, but that stuff draws the sun’s heat like metal to a magnet and makes kids and adults wilt like two-week-old flowers. Heat exhaustion (or a stroke) and diminished quality of play can certainly take place as well as abrasions from inevitable falls. Go for grass and have a blast!