December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 14

WE ARE PARKS AND RECREATION
Hitting Field Maintenance Out of the Park
By Hal Phillips
T
City of Hastings, Nebraska,
follows a three-pronged plan
for maintaining its parks and
athletic fields.
he issue with the athletic infrastructure in Hastings, Nebraska,
has never been one of quality. Parks Maintenance Superintendent
Terry Brown and his full-time staff of 11 do their job so well that,
each summer, local American Legion baseball and collegiate
summer league schedulers vie with regional tournament directors for access
to the city's baseball and softball facilities. In 2019, Duncan Field, the premier
baseball diamond in Hastings, played host to the Mid-South American
Legion Regional Championship. That event returned this past summer.
Neither Brown nor his colleagues
feel nickel-and-dimed when it
comes to funding and staffing. With
two local high schools and Hastings
College making such dedicated
use of these facilities - including
the eight-diamond, 60-acre softball
property, which includes four soccer
fields - the city of Hastings recognizes
these as the extraordinary
community assets they are.
The problem is keeping the grass
alive.
" Starting in March and going to
when our baseball season ends in
August, there just isn't enough time
to repair the grass. Those fields just
get pounded, " Brown explains.
" And once baseball season ends,
we go straight into football season,
which goes to November, when the
growing season is over.
" Everything we do in terms of
turf care has to be done during a
four-hour window each morning,
which we heavily schedule - every
day. But there just isn't enough time
to cover all that acreage. So, we do
what we can on the fly. "
Brown is committed to a threepronged
plan that park and athletic
field
superintendents across the
country - in all the various climatic
zones - will find interesting, both
for its simplicity and flexibility.
Prong 1: Cultural Practices
The soil in Hastings is, according
to Brown, " pretty good. " Even so,
those four hours each morning are
steadfastly devoted to systematic
aerification and top-dressing. The
mowing? That's the easy part, because
there is no immediate disruption
following that ongoing exercise.
" There's a master spreadsheet
that keeps track of all the aerification
work we do, " he says. " When
we've touched every field on the
sheet, we just go back to the beginning
and start again. We fertilize
on that schedule, too, more or less.
The NPK [nitrogen, phosphorus
and potassium] we use at pretty
high levels, mainly slow-release nitrogen.
This is basic stuff but it's a
must on account of our traffic. "
In all, Brown looks after some
400 acres of property, including 25
parks and a lake. Hastings, a city
of 25,000 located in South/Central
Nebraska, 40 miles from the Kansas
border, doesn't skimp on staff.
Come summer, it adds 20 to 30 seasonal
workers - the bulk of whom
14 Parks & Recreation | DECEMBER 2 0 2 1
| PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
PHOTOS COURTESY OF HASTINGS PARKS AND RECREATION

December 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of December 2021 - Parks & Recreation

December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 5
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 7
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 8
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 9
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 10
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 11
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 12
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 13
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 14
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 15
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 16
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 17
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 18
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 19
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 20
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 21
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 22
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 23
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 24
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 25
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 26
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 27
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 28
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 29
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 30
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 31
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 32
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 33
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 34
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 35
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 36
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 37
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 38
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 39
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 40
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 41
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 42
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 43
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 44
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 45
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 46
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 47
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 48
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 49
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 50
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 51
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 52
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 53
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 54
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 55
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 56
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
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
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com