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A look back at the STC’s 6th year

December 8, 2009  - By

By: Rick Doyle, Synthetic Turf Council

On Oct. 1, the Synthetic Turf Council celebrated its sixth birthday and closed the books on another memorable and productive year, despite the many challenges created by the recession.

One of the STC’s primary missions is to promote the benefits of synthetic turf, as well as its human health and environmental safety as validated by current, credible and independent scientific study.  In 2009, the STC’s Public Outreach & Education Campaign produced several major promotional and educational projects and publications:

  • The Search for the Real Field of Dreams national contest invited public and private high schools to relate the impact that their synthetic turf field has had on the school, the students and the community. Ten winning schools were selected from 37 entries by independent judges from the National Association of Collegiate Athletic DirectorsParks and Rec Businessand the National Association of Sports & Physical Education. This year, we’ve opened up the contest to include municipal fields.
  • Reaching the Finish Line is a free online reference source written specifically for high school athletic directors about the benefits and safety of synthetic turf.
  • The Synthetic Turf Video promotes the benefits of synthetic turf as expressed by school administrators, coaches and athletes, and is available on the STC’s home page.
  • The Community Relations Kit and Outreach Module is a complete information resource for STC members about the benefits and safety of synthetic turf.

In January, the STC released the results of a study by Penn State University’s Dr. Andy McNitt, confirming that the life span of staph on synthetic and natural turf surfaces under various climactic conditions is the same. The study was co-sponsored by the STC and the Pennsylvania Turfgrass Council.

As the STC was growing by a record number of new members, it held two very successful membership meetings in San Antonio, TX, and Clearwater Beach, FL. The San Antonio meeting drew a record audience of 173 representatives from 107 companies. The meeting in San Diego that kicked off the 2010 fiscal year set another record for attendance.

The STC met with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to share information that was helpful to the agency’s “limited scoping study” on crumb rubber, the results of which will be announced soon. We also maintained close contact with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to keep the agency apprised of the industry’s progress in meeting the STC’s 2008 voluntary commitment to reduce the amount of lead chromate used in synthetic turf pigments. We were proud to inform them that the industry was well ahead of schedule in meeting its the commitment, which mirrored the lead content levels and timetable mandated for the children’s toy industry by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.

With its new fiscal year under way, the STC will soon be introducing two significant offerings:

  • Guidelines for Crumb Rubber Infill in Synthetic Turf Fields; and, to its member installers of grass and synthetic turf sports fields,
  • The ASBA’s Field Builder Certification Program, which the STC was pleased to sponsor and help author.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge John Amato, Tom Peeples and John Tidwell, whose distinguished terms of service on the STC Board of Directors came to an end in October, as did Joe Motz’s outstanding two-year term as the STC’s third Chairman.  New Chairman Stanley Greene is joined on the Board by the newly elected and dedicated team of Joe Motz, David Forrester, Bruce Lemons, Tom Evans, Doug Schattinger, Dave Anderson, John Giraud, Dale Karmie, Scott Lowrie, David Moxley, Jim Prettyman and Steve White.

As the effects of the recession are still weighing heavily on the nation, 2010 promises to be another challenging year.  But it is in times like these that the STC’s value and the commitment of its members are most evident and appreciated.

In closing, I wish Ron Hall and the readers of Athletic Turf News a holiday season full of family fun, and a healthy and memorable New Year.

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