Greely’s Turf Field Project Update
Billy Mendelson posting March 31 Lacrosse season start
March 23, 2012
by Jonathan David
Thanks to all those who have generously donated, we are making tremendous progress towards our fundraising goals. We are well on our way towards modern athletic facilities for our youth athletic program and well-maintained grass fields. We have now have over $600,000 donated to our effort—about half the funds needed to donate a turf field to the school district.
In addition, many pledges are in the pipeline and we have every reason to think we can cross the finish line this spring. Our goal is to complete the new turf field by fall. To do this we must accelerate our efforts and have the funds donated to the school district by May.
If you have not done so already, please consider a contribution to our community-wide effort to modernize our youth athletic facilities.
Ten Reasons to Support and Contribute to Our Community Turf Field Project
1. New Castle Fields are often closed – like right now—despite perfect weather.
New Castle fields are closed until mid-April. Our community has too few fields for our needs and they are difficult to maintain. They close often due to weather conditions. They open late in the spring, well after spring sports begin. They close early in the fall, before fall sports season finishes. With the weather is beautiful our children could be practicing, training, conditioning. Our children’s competition from neighboring communities are already conditioning, practicing and training and will be healthier, better prepared, and less injury-prone when the season begins. A turf field is available for youth athletic activities on a year-round basis.
2. The 20-mile round-trip to SUNY Purchase
Greeley High School sports teams, youth lacrosse and youth soccer programs must currently rent turf and grass fields at SUNY Purchase and other out-of-town locations to run their programs. This includes practices and supposed “home games” on rented fields outside of our community. This adds thousands of dollars to each program. Hundreds of New Castle families and our HGHS sports teams are regularly inconvenienced by the 20-mile round trip to SUNY Purchase just to have access to fields. More driving = more CO2 emissions and wasted time for our children and their parents.
3. Properly maintained grass fields.
Due to the popularity of youth athletics, demand for field time far outstrips the capacity of the limited number of our natural grass fields. Many are in poor condition and are often closed due to poor drainage and cannot be maintained properly given the demands placed upon them. Many are considered dangerous by referees and league officials who have complained about field conditions in our town. A lighted turf field will create huge capacity for practices, training, and conditioning. Modern lighting technology keeps light on field surface and avoids lighting “spill”. The combination of turf and natural grass will allow us to properly maintain our grass fields.
4. A donated turf field is financially self-sustainable.
A donated turf field will not use resources directed towards other school programs. Maintenance of a turf field is significantly less costly than maintenance of our current natural grass field. It will have more than paid for itself when it needs to be replaced.
5. State Aid
Combined with other needed facility upgrades at HGHS, the Turf Field project will generate significant additional state aid for our school district.
6. Turf Fields are “green,” environmentally friendly, and as safe as natural grass.
Independent and state-sponsored studies have concluded that turf fields are as safe or safer than natural grass playing surfaces. Incidence of sports injury is no different on artificial turf than on natural grass. Because they cannot be properly maintained, many of our natural grass fields are considered hazardous . Turf fields require no water and use no pesticides. Materials are recycled when its time for them to be replaced.
7. Youth athletes play now on a combination of natural and synthetic turf.
Today’s youth athletes can expect to play on both natural grass and turf surfaces throughout their athletic experience. New Castle is one of the only communities in the area without such a facility. Youth athletes are playing on turf surfaces more and more frequently and need to train on both natural and artificial turf.
8. A modern and attractive community committed to healthy lifestyles
Educated homebuyers are increasingly fitness- and health-minded. Communities with state-of-the-art athletic facilities are more attractive. Buyers will look for modern communities including up-to-date athletic and fitness programs and facilities to support this lifestyle for themselves and for their children. Every neighboring community in Westchester and Connecticut has invested in superior athletic facilities, in comparison to New Castle, and many are lighted turf fields.
9. An outdoor classroom that children of all ages will enjoy
While the turf field will be located at the existing HGHS Competition Field, children of all ages and sports will directly benefit from this wonderful facility. Team sports and our athletic fields form the outdoor classroom experience for our children. This is a gift that will positively impact the athletic experience of every youth athlete in New Castle.
10. Sports under the lights
Youth sports and especially evening sporting competition under the lights bring communities together for wholesome, family-oriented fun. It’s time to bring this positive experience to New Castle and create a venue families and the whole community can enjoy together.
Without question, this project will have a tremendous positive impact on all of our youth athletic programs and on our community.
More information is located at our website: www.chappaquaturf.org
Please consider a donation to make this much-needed project a reality.
Jonathan David is a member of the Horace Greeley High School Sports Boosters Turf Committee.