Turfgrass may be taking over D.C. thanks to an initiative called Grass Roots that aims to explore and celebrate turf and the turf industry. The project, developed by the U.S. National Arboretum in collaboration with the National Turfgrass Federation, will focus on the science, uses and benefits of turfgrass. The four-year program, hosted at the arboretum, will include symposia, demonstrations, workshops and, mostly importantly, an interactive outdoor exhibit devoted to turfgrass.

A section of the 1-acre exhibit will be dedicated to sports turf maintenance. Called “Game Winning Grass,” the area will educate visitors on the complex science of field constriction and maintenance. Local sports clubs will also be able to host exhibitions on the field area. The other 13 stations of the exhibit will focus on a range of turf-related topics, including irrigation, fertilization, golf turf, pests and diseases, and mower and maintenance technology, which will offer equipment demos. The project will take a science-based approach to turfgrass, and all aspects of the exhibit will be peer-reviewed.

Obviously, a project of this magnitude and duration will cost a considerable amount of money to install and maintain, and organizers are reaching out to the turf industry for help in meeting their financial goals in time to begin construction before the end of the year. Project organizers estimate the four-year initiative will require that the $400,000 fundraising goal is met. So far the turf care industry has stepped up to the plate, donating $190,000 in funds, services and products, but there is a long way to go to make Grass Roots a reality. Individuals, regional turf managers associations or anyone interested in donating to the project can find more information at http://www.turfresearch.org/grass-roots.htm.

Buyer’s Guide 2013

Here it is, Buyer’s Guide 2013, your complete guide to products and companies serving the sports field management industry. Our fifth-annual, user-friendly directory (beginning on page 20 of this issue) is a great resource for field managers scoping our new gear. Shopping for equipment? Flip to the product directory section, find the product you’re searching for and browse the list of companies offering it. If you’d like more information before making a purchase, we’ve also provided contact info for all your favorite manufacturers.

Coming In September…

In next month’s issue the Picasso of sports fields, Mike Hebrard, shares his advice for turning your turf into a work of art with stencil design and painting techniques. An industry veteran, Hebrard has painted everything from lines to logos, and his tips just may be able to help with your next masterpiece.

Katie Meyers