12/13: Hearing on Parks' use of artificial turf

Field 11, part of nearly 40 acres of artificial surface at the Parade Grounds, on Caton Avenue south of Prospect Park in Brooklyn
Field 11, Parade Grounds, Caton Avenue

Next Thursday there will be an oversight hearing on the use of artificial turf in NYC's parks:
The New York City Council Parks and Recreation Committee will hold an oversight hearing on the use of artificial turf in the City’s parks. New Yorkers for Parks published, “A New Turf War: Synthetic Turf in New York City,” which provides background on this issue and offers recommendations for determining when and where to use artificial turf in city parks and athletic fields. New Yorkers for Parks will use this opportunity to voice some of the recommendations of our policy report on the topic.
- The Dangers of Fake Green Grass
The hearing will be held from 10am-12pm, at 250 Broadway, 14th Floor Hearing Room.
New York City’s Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR) has become increasingly reliant on synthetic turf as a replacement for asphalt and natural grass athletic fields across the city. Through the installation of the “new generation” of synthetic turf, DPR seeks to increase community access to fields as well as to solve the maintenance challenges of grass and the aesthetic and safety problems associated with asphalt. This surface offers all-weather playability and lower maintenance costs than grass; however, synthetic turf has some negative environmental impacts and requires a significant capital investment. The important environmental benefits of natural turf, such as its ability to absorb and filter rainwater and pollutants, and to decrease the impact of the urban heat island effect, must be considered in the debate.
- Executive Summary, A New Turf War, Spring 2006
Sign: Lawns Closed, Union Square Park, Manhattan
Sign: Lawns Closed, Union Square Park, Manhattan


The Dangers of Fake Green Grass, Katia Kelly, Pardon Me For Asking
Parks Dept. denies health study of synthetic turf, April 4, 2007, Patrick Arden, Metro New York
A New Turf War: Synthetic Turf in New York City Parks, Spring 2006, New Yorkers for Parks


Anne said...

inquiring minds want to know the Flatbush Gardener's thoughts on artificial turf...

Xris (Flatbush Gardener) said...

Predictably, my knee-jerk reaction is:


The scene in the photograph at the top of the post captures the real-life irony I felt when I came upon that scene of beautiful fall foliage at the far edge of a radiant-green plastic wasteland.

But the NY4P report presents a more complex picture. They do a good job of covering all the bases, including economics, sustainability, environment and health concerns. I want to read the full report.

Lawns and grass can't stand up to the "active uses" - meaning sports - for parks that's part of PlaNYC2030. The NY4P Report proposes that pseudo-grass may be a good substitute for asphalt surfaces, but not for existing lawns.

I do object to use the of the word "turf" in this context. Artificial surface is more accurate.

Anonymous said...

Where is the hearing?

Xris (Flatbush Gardener) said...

Sorry about that! Katia has the information on her post. I just added it to this one.

chuck b. said...

Just saw this today:


Sort of related. FYI.