A Field Facelift


From June to August, the field will be under renovation.

Every good thing must come to an end, and every new thing must build on the old. Ten years ago, the school adopted an artificial turf field, which has been used during the rebuilding of the facilities around it, numerous fall and spring sports events as well as community contests alike. Now the field needs a spruce up in preparation for the next ten years of non-stop use.
The Parks and Recreation division sets standards for field use and care, addressing that synthetic turf fields should be replaced about every decade or when deemed appropriate. The field, which has been in constant year-round use during its existence, will be torn up and replaced. A new feature of the field will be an extra padding level to prevent concussions and injuries from hard falls.

Starting June 7, the field will be closed and redone for the fall season. With the expected end date being the first week of August, football and field hockey will be the first to try the new turf. In order to be as eco-friendly as possible, rubber and turf from the old field will be used to create the new field.

In 2005, the County Board approved a measure to replace what was then a natural grass multi-sport field to a synthetic turf field. The field at the time was a mix of approvals and disapprovals. Some worried about cost and lighting, while others stressed its usability and all-weather capabilities. One million dollars was allocated to the field, with a quarter going to lighting as so not to disturb the communities around the field. With its minimal maintenance, the field attracted community events, both sporting

This year, the Board allotted $670,000 for the field work. Those who seek to use a turf field this summer will have to use the ones at Wakefield, Yorktown, TJ or Highlands Park. Because of these synthetic turf fields, activity has gone up 900 percent at those locations.  Arlington received Sports Illustrated’s “Sportstown of the Year” award in 2005 for initiatives to improve playing environments.

While money from the county goes towards technology innovations and housing facilities, money allocated for parks and recreations can prove to be the most important. In a county of activity and fitness, an investment that lasts a decade is a score for everyone.