Wetlands cause turf committee to turn from Competition Field to “Field C” for resurfacing
June 21, 2013
by Brett Klein
Three years into their efforts to bring artificial turf to the Greeley Competition Field, the Chappaqua Turf Committee has learned that the cost of wetlands mitigation at the site would add about $500,000 to the $2 million price tag. Now, instead, committee members are looking to make over Greeley athletic field C in turf.
The Chappaqua Turf Committee has been working for the last three years to construct a multi-sport turf field at Horace Greeley, one that will benefit the entire Chappaqua community and school district. The committee’s fundraising efforts have made the possibility of a brand-new turf at Greeley realistic, if not imminent.
The committee’s first step in the process was to receive the necessary approvals for a turf field from the school district, said committee co-chairperson Dave Baum, after which the committee turned its attention to fundraising for the project.
Cost of drainage for wetlands was prohibitive
The original plan called for the turf field to be constructed to replace of the current Competition Field, encircled by the track and site of Greeley home football games, select Greeley soccer and lacrosse contests. However, the committee ran into significant obstacles that prevented the Competition Field from being a viable option for the turf.
The problem was that the design of the turf field to be placed on the Competition field required “a certain amount of water runoff into the surrounding areas,” said Baum, “which are classified as wetlands.”
The water that would invariably run off into the surrounding wetlands needed to be filtered as it drained from the field, as per the requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection. These requirements called for the installment of a water filtration system to be included during the construction of the turf field.
The addition of a water filtration system to the equation would significantly increase the overall cost of the project by about $500,000, Baum estimates. This caused the committee to look for alternative field locations. The new plan is to situate the turf field on Field C, perpendicular to the senior parking lot, farthest from the school.
More hours of play, plus time for grass fields to recover
The town’s grass fields often suffer as a result of overuse, Baum explained. “We feel as if our young athletes are at a disadvantage,” he said. “The fields close very quickly whenever there is rain or adverse weather.” Having a turf field in play will allow the district’s grass fields time to recover.
Baum and co-chair Steffi Green believe that with the addition of a turf field, kids will get more hours to play and practice. “The children in our community can get out more often,” said Baum, “get more exercise, and even become a little more competitive.”
“And there are certain sports that are much better when played on turf,” said Green. “Such as field hockey. That’s a turf sport.”
In addition to the turf field’s increased accessibility, it is a safer surface on which to play for athletes and can prevent certain injuries that could not have been avoided on a grass field, according to Baum. The turf field will not have holes, uneven surfaces, or soft ground that can lead to serious injuries.
According to Baum, the committee is hoping to break ground this coming November. If this timetable holds, assuming the necessary funds have been collected, Baum predicts that the turf field will be ready in time for the Spring 2014 athletic season.
Until the construction on the turf field officially begins, the community-wide fundraising effort will continue spearheaded by the Turf Committee. Baum looks forward to a potential golf outing this Fall to raise money.
To find out more about the Chappaqua Turf Committee, its mission and goals, or to donate to the cause of bringing a turf field to Greeley, visit www.Chappaquaturf.org.
Brett Klein, HGHS Class of 2012, is a rising sophomore at Villanova University where he writes for The Villanovan, the school newspaper.