February 2017

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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24 SportsTurf | February 2017 FACILITY & OPERATIONS from around the world giving way to very culturally diverse communities. Within these communities the desire to maintain their culture includes the recreational activities they enjoy. For example, cricket, a sport popular in India, dominates the Indian-American culture in the area. This results in needing additional, shared green space. SCUSD collaborates with recreational groups and offers its fields to these community- based leagues as a way to share in the diversity of the area. I was pressed and impressed of the thought of resurrecting the old football field at Peterson Middle School. The collaborations began with a walkthrough of the space with his grounds team to assess what they were up against and to firm up a drop-dead date of project completion. With the support of administrators, teachers, parents and students, the only "buy-in" left was the confidence to make it happen. The project began on September 26, 2016. Our team gave ourselves a 6-week turnaround time, knowing that the students' first games were to start the first week in November. An audit of the space included a detailed assessment of the field's overall condition and health. The gopher holes alone consisted of multiple active sites with three to four holes every 3 feet while encompassing many bare spots with no turf growth, irrigation concerns and an abundance of overactive weeds. Going into the fall and winter seasons, they had recently experienced some rainfall at the beginning of October. Mother Nature was on their side, providing reasonable relief in attempting to establish new turf for the area, which is typically late spring to early fall. The space was benefitting nicely from occasional rain. At the same time, assessment of irrigation resulted in an adjustment in order to get head-to-head contact. The next step following irrigation repairs was to get the field moistened and softened enough to aerate. Additionally, a contractor was hired and his traps were placed throughout various field locations to rid of the active gophers. We began the aeration process, aerating in every direction— north to south and east to west—with two 30-inch stand-on aerators. I like these because they do a super job pulling cores on the field. While the field was being aerated, the facilities mainte- nance team came in and painted the field goals and put together new soccer goals for the kids to use for their very first game. Their goal was to make this field as much like professional stadium turf as they could possibly do. In the following days, they brought in 25 tons of the product Planters Mix. This mix consisted of organic compost, screened topsoil and a mixture of additives that would stimulate a healthy green turf. They also brought in 25 tons of screened topsoil and laid that down the following day. Before topdressing the material onto the field, we started the seeding and fertilization process. Because of the time constraints, we weren't able to drag the cores and, in addition, we were having technical problems with the topdresser's not discharging the product in evenly. We decided to use an annual ryegrass seed incorporated with a perennial turf seed mixture to assist in getting the green fast. We laid this material down with a broadcast spreader along with starter fertilizer and then started the topdressing procedure. This took about 10 days from start to finish, taking into consideration other school district projects going on at the time. SCUSD consists of 27 schools from grades Pre-K to 12 in addition to an adult education campus and administrative and other buildings, each with their own athletic, landscaping, turf, and irrigation demands. If it were not for the support of the administration with buy-in from the beginning, scheduling a team of individuals to commit to this alone would have been a nightmare over the 6 weeks. The administration, grounds team, facilities manager, principal and other staff were all very cooperative to help anyway necessary to see this project come to fruition. This included working hard to keep the public and pedestrians off the field and from using it as a dog park. Once all the products were in place and on the field, the irrigation was adjusted to water every zone for 10 minutes three times a day for a total of six zones. We started to see some germination in about 7 days, because we had used the annual

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