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Turf or No Turf... Turf!
Stephen, Age 12, Easton, CT

Starting with New Canaan back in the mid 1990s, over 80% of Fairfield County towns have either completed, or are in the process of installing, synthetic turf fields. Turf fields are becoming the standard for most towns. Therefore, the High School should install a new turf field in order to be more competitive, save money and prevent injury.

With a turf field the athletic programs can be more competitive. First, a turf field allows our teams to practice in any weather and therefore will get a lot more practice to play hard and become competitive. The teams would also get the chance to have a lot more home games and as we know, playing at home always gives the team an advantage. Townspeople care very much about the quality and cost of the high school facilities and most find a turf field to be a valuable town investment.

Turf fields require low maintenance and therefore save the town money over the long run. Grass fields get ripped up easily and quickly, and there is a lot more maintenance. They also look shabby if not kept up on a regular basis. Grass can become muddy and make play very difficult with slipping. The turf field can last for 30 years with very little maintenance. Grass needs constant upkeep including seeding and painting on lines, ultimately costing the town more money.

Turf fields prevent injury. With a turf field you are able to move faster, penetrate, rotate, and release, thus minimizing the chance of motion-related injuries. In addition, turf can prevent ACL tears and hip pointers. Turf will also lessen the chance of getting rug burn. The rubber in between the blades of grass on turf provides a shock-absorbing surface, comparable or better than a natural grass field. Slippery, muddy grass is dangerous. Players slip and can get hurt very easily. Their feet can get caught in mud holes, also causing injury.

A turf field would be an excellent choice for any High School. A turf field would make the athletic programs more competitive, save the town money in the long run by requiring very little maintenance, and prevent injury with a safer surface. Therefore, based on my arguments stated above, I recommend that the education and athletic board revisit the budget and set aside funds to install a turf field.

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