If City Council "Goes Active"
allows portable gyms, boot camps, unregulated activity
Would they think like the managers of a "sports field"?
If they did, if they truly then managed the lawns for active use, they would think more about sustainability.
The erosion at right would for example never be tolerated in an actively managed “sports park.”
Managing a park to sustain active use
The least expensive alternative is basic turf management principles
One basic principle: addressing the problems of soil compaction
"Soil compaction is the most common problem in lawn quality. With reduced soil oxygen levels, rooting systems will be more shallow. With compaction, the grass roots have reduced access to water and nutrients. Irrigation and fertilization will need to be light and more frequent."
"Aerating (removing plugs) once or twice a year will help reduce soil compaction in an established lawn area if enough passes are made to yield plugholes at two-inch intervals. The best time of year to aerate a lawn is late August to late September, as fewer weed seeds germinate this time of year. Aerating the lawn area around a tree is also the best method to promote tree vigor."*
fr "Basic Turf Management Principles" Univ of Colo Extension
Along with aeration, the following turf management principles are standard practice
— Reseeding of grasses and replacement of sod
— regular fertilization with natural addaments to build humus
— application of organic nutrients
— periods of inactivity to allow soil and plants recovery
Failing to use basic principles, one choice remains
Replace the lawns at Palisades Park with synthetic sports turf
Synthetic turfs are more durable and need less care
The current species of grasses at Palisades Park and they way they are managed aren’t responding well to active use.
Failing to manage them properly leaves us but one other idea: "Synthetic sports turf.”
It can withstand impacts of weight lifters and gym classes.
There are many specially designed high impact synthetic turfs the city could acquire.
The costs however may be prohibitive — $430,000 X 5 = 2,150,000
Here's one cost estimate for a football field:
"Converting an existing field from grass to turf will require a minimum of earth removal, rock, and new drainage and, of course, the turf system.
The average project cost for the area between the two end zones is $5.80 per square foot or about $430,000.
Palisades Park would probably need five of those.
Most owners also cover part or all of the D-shaped areas at each end at an additional cost."