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Sod harvested at TPI Summer Conference beautifies village park

August 10, 2010  - By

By: Jim Novak, Turfgrass Producers International

NEW YORK, NY — When Turfgrass Producers International (TPI) held its Summer Convention here, July 26 – 29 and its Field Day at nearby Pine Island Turf Nursery in Pine Island on July 29th there was plenty of activity.

More than 40 exhibitors and 300 turfgrass producers from around the world participated. TPI members from Australia, Austria, Canada, Iran, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Sweden and the United States had an opportunity to see the latest in turfgrass equipment, supplies and related services.

Throughout the Field Day attendees also had an opportunity to see product demo’s that included forklifts, netting equipment, tillers, mowers, cultivators, seeders, harvesters, etc. In the case of the latter, major manufacturers harvested slabs, small rolls and big rolls of turfgrass throughout the day.

By mid afternoon a great deal of turfgrass had been harvested. Thanks to some foresight and pre-planning by Chip Lain, the owner of Pine Island Turf Nursery, his neighbor Leonard DeBuck of  DeBuck’s Sod Farm and Thomas Shuback of  Shuback Farms in Goshen the harvested turfgrass didn’t go to waste.

The three TPI members, all friendly competitors, collaborated in making arrangements to donate the harvested sod to Veterans Memorial Park in the Village of Warwick located eight miles from the farm.

DeBuck arranged and oversaw the logistics, Shuback provided transportation and on-site installation assistance and Pine Island Turf Nursery provided the turfgrass.

Throughout the Field Day harvested sod was removed inconspicuously from the field, loaded on semi-trailers and driven to Veterans Memorial Park where more than twenty community volunteers including high school student athletes, village officials and members of the community awaited its arrival and immediately began installation.

Because of the excellent coordination and planning on the part of DeBuck and Shuback the new field was completely sodded within one hour after the activities at Pine Island had come to a close.

By day’s end over 30,000 sq. ft. of turfgrass was donated to the community. The estimated value of the turfgrass, delivery and installation provided to Veterans Memorial Park was in excess of $10,000 and the efforts of volunteers to prepare the site was another priceless benefit.

Michael Newhard, the mayor of the Village of Warwick commented, “When Leonard DeBuck made the kind offer to help us sod a new multi-purpose field in Veterans Memorial Park we were elated.  That of course was the beginning of the process of transforming an extensive area that was used for a parking lot and entailed moving a pre-existing electrical shed and multiple telephone poles, the removal of topsoil, regrading and topsoil replacement.

“The project was a bit larger in scope than the Village initially anticipated but with the expertise provided by Leonard DeBuck and the use of both Town and Village Department of Public Works crews, as well as the volunteer effort provided by the Football League the site preparation was accomplished swiftly and ready for the coordinated delivery of sod.

“This was an effort that involved many hands and we were lucky to have had the pool of talented resources available. The local sod growers were truly generous with their manpower and equipment and made this small” field of dreams “a reality. Over and over we find that that sweat equity, ownership, community volunteerism are the key elements to a successful project.

“This field is such a useful addition to our Park it will be used by teams, families, and the general public. It expands the existing greenspace and offers us optimum flexibility for future park development.”

In a follow-up phone call Leonard DeBuck stated, “ I’m pleased to say the field is doing great, and pee-wee football activities are planned starting the second week of September.  This certainly was a wonderful win-win-win scenario for our community.”

(Images courtesy Jim Novak, Public Relations Manager TPI)

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Turfgrass Producers International – TPI

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