Tending to the Nation’s Turf

Now hiring: turf care pro to manage America’s front lawn. The federal government has recognized the importance of turf care professionals and is adding one to their team. After a few years of development and planning, the National Park’s Service is now hiring its first ever turf manager, and whoever assumes the newly created position will be responsible for maintaining the turf at the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C. Although not a sports field, the National Mall faces similar turf issues: heavy foot traffic, high use demands, frequent events and, of course, the scrutiny of the public eye. According to the posting on the USAJobs website, duties include implementing preventive and ongoing maintenance schedules based upon type of turf, soil, irrigation and drainage microclimate; developing turfgrass maintenance plans, specifications and schedules; planning for prevention of damage and for rest and recovery from events and other use impacts; and maintenance activities include mowing, irrigation, aeration, fertilization and overseeding. So, think you’re ready to hang up your infield rake and head to Washington?

Dealing with Drought

With record-breaking temperatures and the worst drought in decades, this summer challenged field care crews across the country. As of mid-August, drought affected over 60 percent of the contiguous 48 states, with almost a quarter of the country experiencing extreme to exceptional drought. With preseason football and soccer practice in full swing in late August, field managers struggled to keep their fields playable amidst mandatory water use restrictions, scorching temperatures and maxed out irrigation budgets.

Now more than ever, water is at a premium, and sports field managers must strike a balance between maintaining safe playing fields while conserving this precious resource. Fortunately, new technology and techniques are aiding in the effort to reduce water usage while keeping fields hydrated. In next month’s issue we’ll feature a special section on water conservation in sports field maintenance.

How are you dealing with drought? Send me an email and let me know how you handled the summer’s difficult conditions.

Survey Says…

We want to hear from you! SportsField Management is conducting a survey to find out how we can better serve the sports field industry. Let us know what you like, what you don’t and what you want to see more of by taking our survey online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CDKV8CQ.

Katie Meyers