To meet the demands of thousands of recreational athletes in The Woodlands, as well as generate substantial cost savings, the Board of Directors of The Woodlands Township increased sportsfield capacity by replacing natural grass with all-weather turf, a synthetic surface manufactured to resemble natural grass. The materials used are UV (ultraviolet)-resistant, highly durable and can be used in all weather conditions.
Bear Branch Sportfields One, Three, Four and Six and Alden Bridge Sportspark Multipurpose Fields One and Two are now complete. The Woodlands Township has approximately 544,600 square feet of all-weather turf and a total of six synthetic turf fields (about 12 acres of turf).
The decision to convert six fields was in part guided by the results of a sophisticated analysis of nearly every factor associated with the development, operation, and maintenance of a playing surface. Key criteria included: water usage, maintenance costs, irrigation repairs, field rental income, and even the cost of painting lines on the fields. It is estimated the Township will save $148,000, though this also includes a cost to maintain the all-weather fields. The $148,000 savings does not include any offsets for revenue.
The goal with this analysis was to highlight all of the cost savings and expenses related to the turf. One important factor that has moved the conversion to all-weather turf to the forefront is the cost of water to irrigate grass. In The Woodlands Township, and in many communities around the country, the cost of water is going up. Due to the volume of water used on athletic fields and cost, the analysis demonstrated that cost savings could be realized.
Additionally, the implementation of all-weather turf aids significantly in water conservation, will reduce maintenance costs, eliminates the need for fertilization, and may last for up to 12 years.
Maintenance required for all-weather turf is minimal as compared to natural grass fields. Maintenance includes a bi-weekly grooming and a quarterly deeper cleaning. Rain water drains through the crumb rubber and sand infill and through the perforated drainage holes in the turf. The water then exits the field through an underground drainage system. While all-weather turf fields are not “maintenance free”, they do not require other costs such as water, irrigation repair and field renovation.
For more information on sports fields in The Woodlands or about The Woodlands Township, please call 281-210-3800.