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Maryland SoccerPlex, Grass Roots to open new interactive outdoor exhibit

May 8, 2017

The formal grand opening of the outdoor exhibit was held May 3.

The Maryland SoccerPlex and Grass Roots, a cooperative arrangement between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Turfgrass Federation, will open an outdoor educational exhibit on the grounds of the SoccerPlex. This interactive exhibit is based on the larger GrassRoots exhibit at the National Arboretum, which opened in the fall of 2014.

The interactive outdoor exhibit will include a kiosk with information on common turf diseases and pests, an irrigation systems exhibit, a history walkway and a rain garden.

The formal grand opening was held May 3, and a public grand opening will be held May 6. At the public opening, visitors will be able to walk through the exhibit and ask any lawn-care related questions to a panel of experts from the Maryland SoccerPlex, the National Turfgrass Federation and the U.S. National Arboretum.

“We are honored to be able to partner in the Grass Roots Initiative,” said Maryland SoccerPlex Executive Director Trish Heffelfinger. “We look forward to helping educate the public on turfgrass and to offering all of our visitors the opportunity to visit a live interactive exhibit.”

The first part of construction completed was the sports fields: four large beds that showcase Kentucky Bluegrass, Bermudagrass, a new type of zoysiagrass, zeon and synthetic turf. Based on results of the exhibit, zeon could potentially be used for more sports fields in the Mid-Atlantic region, according to the group.

The second stage of construction included an additional 12 cool and warm season turf types from around the country.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed the process of creating this exhibit with Trish (Heffelfinger), SoccerPlex Director of Grounds Ryan Bjorn and his crew,” said Kevin Morris, president of the National Turfgrass Federation. “When it opens, we believe we will have an exhibit that will show the future of turf in interesting and educational ways to everyone from kids, to homeowners and others who work in the turf industry.”


Photos: Maryland SoccerPlex

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