May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 48

OPERATIONS
Embracing a Change in Field
Maintenance Practices
By Rick Perruzzi, CSFM, CPRP
A
s most of us know, we live in a different world than we did two
years ago. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic impacts the
decisions we make on a daily basis, from sending our kids to
school to when and if it's safe to go out to restaurants, holiday
gatherings or just getting together with a small group indoors. However, one
space that has allowed people to gather has been park facilities, whether passive
spaces or active spaces, such as athletic fields. More people utilizing the
outdoors has put some strain on our facilities, thus creating more emphasis
on preventive maintenance, especially on athletic fields. Now, more than
ever, sports field managers are being asked to do more with less. Additionally,
there is push from elected officials and community members to be more
environmentally responsible when it comes to pesticide and fertilizer use.
City of South Portland, Maine,
enacted a synthetic pesticide and
synthetic fertilizer ban in 2016 and
2020, respectively, which eliminated
the use of these products on public
and private land with few exceptions.
The emphasis from elected
officials and concerned citizens was
on aggressive cultural practices (e.g.,
aeration, overseeding, topdressing,
organic fertilizers, etc.).
We as a department had to reassess
how we maintained our 150-acre
recreation facility, which includes 13
irrigated, heavily used athletic fields.
As the sports field manager, I had
two options: I could be angry and
frustrated by thinking that elected
officials and community members
were telling a professional sports
field manager how to do their job,
or I could get on board and seize an
opportunity to grow our operation. At
the time, we had limited equipment
in respect to size and efficiency,
especially when it came to
the
turnaround time needed to properly
apply cultural practices to an athletic
field. I saw this as an opportunity to
promote the right equipment needed,
in order to utilize cultural practices
on a more frequent basis to eliminate
the use of pesticides. Regarding
fertilizer usage, we switched to liquid
organic fertilizer and introduced
micronutrient packages. We secured
funding of roughly $250,000 for
capital equipment and an increase
in our budget line items, such as
seed, topdressing materials and
micronutrients. With the addition of
the new equipment, our turnaround
time to aerate, remove cores, seed
and topdress a 70,000-square-foot
field went from three days to one or
one-and-a-half days, depending on
conditions. The acquisition of new
equipment and resources enabled our
crew of three to be more efficient due
to the drop-in turnaround time. The
application of liquid fertilizers and
micronutrients added some time to
the operation, but that is a trade-off
that we can work with.
Given the concern around the
country about green space management,
at some point, it will be a topic
in your community. My advice is to
get ahead of it and be proactive. Even
if you do not agree with all of it, if
you show enthusiasm to embrace the
challenge, you may be pleasantly surprised
by the receptiveness of elected
officials to get you and your department
the equipment and resources
you need to be successful. In the end,
they want it to work.
South Portland Department of Parks,
Recreation and Waterfront reassessed
how it maintained its 150-acre
recreation facility.
48 Parks & Recreation | MAY 2 0 22 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
Rick Perruzzi, CSFM, CPRP, is
Recreation Manager of Outdoor Athletic
Facilities at South Portland Department
of Parks, Recreation and Waterfront
(eperruzzi@southportland.org).
PHOTO COURTESY OF SOUTH PORTLAND DEPARTMENT OF
PARKS, RECREATION AND WATERFRONT

May 2022 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of May 2022 - Parks & Recreation

May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 1
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 2
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 3
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 4
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 5
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 6
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 7
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8a
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8b
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 9
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 10
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 11
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 12
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 13
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 14
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 15
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 16
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 17
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 18
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 19
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 20
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 21
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 22
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 23
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 24
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 25
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 26
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 27
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 28
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 29
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 30
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 31
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 32
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 33
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 34
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 35
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 36
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 37
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 38
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 39
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 40
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 41
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 42
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 43
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 44
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 45
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 46
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 47
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 48
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 49
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 50
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 51
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 52
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 53
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 54
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 55
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 56
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
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
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com