April 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 48

OPERATIONS
The Latest on Synthetic Fields
By Mary Helen Sprecher
S
ports fields have come a long way since someone threw down a handful
of seed, watered the ground and, in due course, welcomed teams
onto the grass. Grass is still a respected surface, but today synthetic
turf is providing the opportunity for more teams to play more games
across the same field, often year-round. The synthetic turf market is evolving,
but at the same time, turf has come under scrutiny for a variety of reasons.
Here are a few answers to questions park officials frequently ask.
Is synthetic turf popular
for park use?
" We're seeing that synthetic turf
has gained popularity in parks and
high schools for multiuse fields, "
says Michael Allen of Shaw Sports
Turf. " Many schools and recreation
departments appreciate the
durability, all-weather usability and
the consistency of the playing surface
that synthetic turf offers. "
I keep hearing about PFAS.
What are they? Are they in
synthetic fields?
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances
(PFAS) are chemicals found in
Today, synthetic turf is providing the
opportunity for more teams to play
more games across the same field,
often year-round.
a variety of household products.
Because they do not biodegrade,
PFAS have become known as " forever
chemicals. " Some regulatory
agencies are considering banning
PFAS as a whole; however, research
on their impact on health and the
environment is ongoing. PFAS at
low concentrations are difficult to
measure, and the only current test
methods being used are specific to
drinking water; the EPA also is evaluating
test methods for soil.
While PFAS is often brought up
in conjunction with synthetic turf, it
is worth noting that what have been
identified as " PFAS of concern "
have never been used in the production
of synthetic turf. Additionally,
there is currently no standardized
test that can measure PFAS in turf.
In the past, fluoropolymer processing
aids were used in producing some
turf fibers. However, manufacturers
are phasing out these aids and have
committed to discontinuing the use
of PFAS in turf as of this year. It is
important to note that any product,
turf included, can be contaminated
with PFAS as a result of continued
environmental exposure. In fact, in
a study conducted in Massachusetts,
when outdoor athletic fields were
examined, more PFAS were found
in the soil of natural fields than were
discovered in synthetic fields.
Are synthetic fields safe?
Multiple studies have been conducted;
none showed a link between
synthetic turf and long-term
health problems.
Synthetic fields are good only
for a certain duration; can
they be recycled after that?
The recycling of synthetic fields is not
as straightforward as the process of
recycling a soda can. Fields have various
components, including the carpet
itself and the infill (the material,
such as crumb rubber, used to provide
cushioning and make the fibers stand
straight), as well as the foundation,
which may be a hard surface (concrete
or asphalt), shock pad (e-layer,
foam tiles or rolls, preformed roll-out
rubber, tiles or drainage panels), loose
stone or consolidated stone aggregate,
48 Parks & Recreation | APRIL 2 0 2 4 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
PHOTO COURTESY OF CSR ATHLETIC CONSTRUCTION

April 2024 – Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of April 2024 – Parks & Recreation

April 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 1
April 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Cover1
April 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Cover2
April 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 1
April 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 2
April 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 3
April 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 4
April 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 5
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April 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 21
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April 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 48
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April 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 53
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April 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 56
April 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Cover3
April 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2024
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https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2023
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https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2023
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https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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