Letter: Redding Needs Turf Athletic Fields

  • Comments (1)

REDDING, Conn. — The Daily Voice accepts signed, original letters to the editor. Letters may be emailed to weston@dailyvoice.com.

To the Editor,

My family and I have lived in Redding for 13 years.  We love it. However, we have seen debate after debate over the need for turf fields.

Meanwhile, almost every town in the surrounding area has made the leap into turf fields. I'm not one for follow the leader, but the lack of turf fields in our country environment is putting our student athletes at a growing disadvantage every year that we waste.

Cancellations due to weather mean less practice time, rearrangement of schedules and in some cases, finding time in neighboring towns to "rent" their turf fields. Playing on turf is now the standard for outdoor teams, and lack of practice and playing time on turf can be a considerable disadvantage during conference and state tournaments.

Additionally, we have many fields in Redding and Easton, but it seems logical to focus on the high school level as a
starting point when you consider the possible locations.  Seeing as Joel Barlow is roughly in the middle of the two supporting towns, that location makes even more

As a teacher, I recognize that academics come first, but I also know that my children, and many other children, learn so many important life skills while playing sports.

For sure, we are in challenging economic times, but we need to invest in our athletic programs and facilities to be on a par with our excellent academic settings.

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Comments (1)

One need only look at the highly successful results of Barlow's fall sports programs this year to understand that a turf field is not required to compete at the highest levels and have success.

Turf fields are not "green" which is important to many in both towns. A turf field requires special equipment, it requires regular cleaning with chemicals - do we want that in the watershed area? Players on turf fields have significantly higher staph infections compared with those playing on grass. Turf fields need to be replaced every 8-10 years - today's cost to dispose of a field is approximately $120,000. Lastly, only one team can use a turf field at a time so who gets priority? Is football more important than boys or girls soccer or girls field hockey? If dedicated to football does that raise potential Title IX issues? Are we then going to be asked to have multiple turf fields? Barlow spends nearly $22K per student now which is vastly higher than many others schools in DRG-A so one has to ask when does keeping up with the Jones' stop?

A properly installed high quality natural grass playing field resolves all of the complaints supporters of turf advance, without all the negatives of turf, and does so at significantly lower initial and long term costs. Yes, improve the fields if they need it but do it in a way that is both economical and environmentally friendly. Many studies comparing the two surfaces are out for all to read. Those supporting a turf field repeat the same claims over and over seemingly hoping that if said frequently enough no one will look into the facts. Take the time to read the studies and make an informed decision.