The decision between natural grass and artificial turf has been an ongoing discussion in recent years. While both have their added benefits, it can be costly if all options are not considered. Artificial turf fields are increasingly popular among high schools and colleges, due to their perceived ease of maintenance and versatility in weather conditions. However, these fields can cost over $1,000,000 and require more upkeep than many people realize. Synthetic turf fields must be monitored closely for compaction in high traffic areas due to the rubber fibers packing from heavy use. This process must be closely monitored, and replacement infill must be used to ensure a safe playing surface. Seams are another issue that presents an issue for turf managers. Athletes can cause the seams in the field to separate with shifting and abrupt sudden movements causing these seams to come apart if not properly managed.
Conventional sand-based fields cost nearly half the price to construct and provide athletes with a safer playing surface on natural grass. These fields are constructed of nearly 90% sand and provide superior drainage while maintaining a uniform playing surface for athletes. These fields have many benefits but are sometimes not the most affordable choice for some facilities. Turf managers with native soil fields can vastly improve their drainage and playing conditions by implementing a sand cap system. This is process is done through cultivation, topdressing, and installing a drainage system. Selecting a USGA® recommended sand during this process is crucial. Using a torpedo sand or mason sand would introduce too many fines into the fields profile resulting in compaction and unhealthy turf. Utilizing a USGA® recommended sand would supply the field ample drainage and a uniform playing surface. A sand-cap system is an affordable option for turf managers and facilities looking to improve playing conditions and reduce repair costs. To learn more about the benefits of a sand-cap system read Michigan State’s A.R. Kowalewski and J.N. Rogers article: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/236/68630/Built-Up-Sand-Capped-System.pdf
Shoreline provides high quality sand and gravel throughout Chicagoland, Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan. We have a proven track record delivering sand mixes to construct and maintain fields for professional stadiums and high schools. If you’re looking to renovate or construct a new field contact Shoreline to get the right materials for the job. To learn more about what products we have to offer visit our website at www.shoreline.rocks.