Soil Health Plays Key Role in Sports Field Renovations

January 31, 2019

Soil Health Plays Key Role in Sports Field Renovations

Over the past several decades, sports turf managers have embraced and implemented soil health practices to achieve greater turf quality and resiliency similarly to farmers who have embraced soil health efforts to improve crop productivity and quality. Gone are the days of sports turf managers solely implementing practices that focus primarily on the turf or plant needs related to nutrients. Today, sports turf managers implement innovative management approaches that consider and optimize the entire growing system which most often begins with enhancing the soil.

Novel tools and innovative technologies are being utilized to promote the naturally occurring soil systems that produce the strongest and most beautiful turfs and landscapes that can better resist breaking down. To establish a solid foundation for growth in the soil, turf and landscape managers are working to optimize soil microbial populations, improve water and nutrient efficiencies in the root zone, promote infiltration rates, build soil structure and organic matter, and reduce the need for additional inputs.

Cool Terra® Utilized in Project Evergreen Lindo Park Renovation

Biochar Soil Amendment Used for Healthy Soils on Sport FieldsManagers and volunteers with Project Evergreen utilize advanced renovation approaches to fulfill their mission to ‘revitalize community recreational spaces to help create a greener, healthier, cooler Earth that will support more connected, safer and more prosperous neighborhoods.’ Recently, Project Evergreen along with the Sports Turf Managers Association, the City of Phoenix, and a host of eager volunteers, embarked on providing a South Phoenix neighborhood park with a real ballpark. To make the total transformation a success, the project coordinators focused on renovation techniques that considered the entire growing system. Key steps and actions were taken to transform the ballpark:

  • Surveying the field to determine existing and proposed elevations for the playing surface.
  • Laying out new grass edges along 1st and 3rd baselines.
  • Re-inspecting and adjusting the irrigation system to ensure proper coverage in the outfield.
  • Fertilizing and silting seed for the outfield turf – nearly 60,000-square-feet.
  • Laying out and rebuilding the pitcher’s mound and installing a new pitching rubber.
  • Laying out and rebuilding the batter’s boxes/catcher’s box and installing a new home plate.
  • Grading the infield surface to cut high areas and fill low areas.
  • Installing sod to repair areas of damaged turf.

Cool Planet was honored to be able to support the renovation work and enhance Lindo Park and the surrounding South Phoenix neighborhoods. Cool Terra®, a biochar-based, organic, soil amendment that works to improve key soil performance characteristics was provided to be applied pre-sod in sod repair zones. By applying Cool Terra® the renovation work maintained the commitment to optimizing the entire growing system and will provide stronger, longer-lasting, turf in the transformed park.

Cool Terra® Utilized to Establish A Solid Foundation for Turf Growth

In the midst of hundreds of volunteer hands working to revitalize the 22-acre park, a team dedicated to repairing damaged turf areas and installing new turf zones began working by clearing debris and shaping the new zones. Then Cool Terra® was applied through a mini-broadcast spreader at a low, easy to use, rate. The newly applied Cool Terra® will incorporate itself into the new topsoil layer and provide key soil impacts to allow for green, long-lasting, beautiful turf. Next, the new sod was laid in the designated areas and a beautiful infield/outfield transition zone was created!

A Long-Lasting Impact

Phoenix area councilwoman Felicita Mendoza, who represents District 8 in which Lindo Park is located said the project was an important step forward and an exciting development for the community. “We’re grateful that Lindo Park was selected by Project Evergreen and for the volunteer service and financial support of Sports Turf Managers Association and local businesses to make it possible,” Mendoza said. “The new ballpark will enhance the recreation center and other amenity upgrades made to the park in recent years.”

Lindo Park is set to stand as a community symbol of resiliency, commitment, and pride for generations to come. As Project Evergreen said, “If you stop for a moment to look more closely, a city park can tell the story of the grit and tenacity of a community.”

Cool Planet is proud to support the grit and tenacity of the South Phoenix community represented through Lindo Park. The Cool Terra® soil amendment provided for the project will remain in the soil for hundreds of years and provide long-lasting benefits to turf growth. Unlike other forms of carbon, Cool Terra® is made from biochar, a fixed carbon material that does not break down biologically over time. On top of that, Cool Terra® sequesters carbon and helps to improve the overall sustainability of Lindo Park. Cheers to Project Evergreen, the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation, the Sports Turf Managers Association, and the hundreds of volunteers and sponsoring organizations.

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