So, you think you have it tough when it comes to field and lawn care maintenance

July 8, 2010  - By

By Jim Novak, Turfgrass Producers International

If you have the responsibility of overseeing the maintenance and care of sports fields, recreational areas, community parks or lawns there are a good number of your peers who can relate to the challenges you face throughout the year. At times the responsibility may seem overwhelming; but imagine being responsible for a prime location that hosts a wide assortment of activities that include everything from family picnics to outdoor festivals, from social gatherings to political demonstrations, from traditional sporting events to unlimited recreational activities.

Imagine too that you are responsible for two distinct areas. One location is a huge two mile expanse of natural grass that is surrounded by world class museums, internationally recognized landmarks and assorted national treasures. This area has a perimeter of shrubs, trees and walkways. The second area comprised of parks that cover 328 acres and includes numerous athletic fields including 15 baseball and softball diamonds, a cricket field, two rugby fields, three nine hole golf courses, an area for kickball, a polo field, several soccer fields and volleyball and tennis courts.

The areas in question host in excess of 3,000 permitted events each year and welcomes 25 to 30 million visitors annually. That’s more annual visitors than Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon combined. In fact, that’s more people than the over 17 million fans that fill National Football League stadiums during an entire season.

As for maintenance, plan on using about 10 tons of grass seed annually. You also will be expected to plant or install around 3,000 yards of turfgrass sod each year. Overall, you are responsible for over 300 acres of turfgrassed areas and you are the caretaker of over 9,000 trees. And let’s not forget the 26 miles of walkways and eight miles of bicycle trails that you have to monitor and maintain.

As for those sports fields we mentioned earlier, expect between 25,000 and 30,000 athletes to converge on your various playing fields each year.

The 9,000 plus trees you oversee are accountable for removing an estimated 492 tons of air pollution annually. The 300 plus acres of turfgrass will sequester more than 600 tons of carbon per year. All those trees and parks covered with natural turfgrass will remove pollutants from the atmosphere and produce plenty of oxygen.

If you’re not yet overwhelmed by the scope of your responsibilities, it might interest you to know that you are also overseeing a piece of property that is affectionately referred to as “America’s Front Yard”.

Welcome to the National Mall in Washington D.C. and its adjoining parks and recreational areas.

About the Author:

Turfgrass Producers International – TPI

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