The positives of artificial turf |

The positives of artificial turf

Martha L. Capobianco

Ignorance routinely fuels the daily comment, as well as colorful letters to the editor. Recently, this has been the case regarding artificial turf for Wagner Park.

I doubt any authors of these letters have viewed or participated in a sport on a modem artificial turf field. I have in Edwards, Colo. This field demonstrated that today’s artificial turf is nothing like “Astroturf.”

Aesthetically, the new turf was equivalent to a lush fairway on a tour-level golf course. The artificial field enhances safety with less stress on joints and increased shock absorption for falls, via its unique base and in-fill.

Any current use of Wagner Park would still be possible on an artificial field, with an added benefit of increased usability time. Snow is easily removed via broom, shovel or plow. Thus, when we are lucky enough to have late snow in the spring and early snow in the fall, scheduled activities can still take place.

The artificial field requires minimal maintenance, which is positive, both economically and ecologically. The cost for maintenance is substantially less (no mowing, no sprinklers). Ecologically, no wasting our precious water and no noise pollution or air pollution from those noisy, smelly mowers! Another positive is that dogs do NOT like to void or defecate on the artificial turf.

For those who want the park to remain “natural,” then we better rip out the existing sod, which is NOT native to Aspen and replace with plenty of rocks and native plants. I doubt very many people would recreate at Wagner Park if it were returned to its state prior to settlement in this arid, high-altitude environment.

Finally, I was fortunate to grow up surrounded by dairy farms and potato fields, and I did not feel that one artificial field next to two natural sod fields lessened my enjoyment during my time spent on the artificial field in Edwards. I expect I would feel the same about activities at Wagner Park, since there would still be numerous natural sod parks in and around Aspen.