Empowering Communities, Advocating Solutions
Campaigns:

CCE IN THE NEWS

Source: Hamden Patch

Hamden High School Baseball Field Renovations Moving Forward

The town plans to convert the current natural grass field into a renovated artificial turf field with safety enhancements, officials say.

BY VINCENT SALZO
PATCH STAFF

Posted: August 11, 2016
Originally Published: August 11, 2016

HAMDEN, CT — The town is moving forward with plans to convert the current natural grass baseball field at Hamden High School with a newly renovated artificial turf baseball field and multi-purpose field.

The town is recommending a proposal to the Planning and Zoning Commission regarding the project, according to a joint press release from Mayor Curt Balzano Leng, Legislative Council President Jim Pascarella, and Hamden Board of Education Chairman Adam Sendroff.

The recommendation includes significant safety, playability and comfort enhancements for the project.

The current field has drainage problems and officials say it can’t be safely/practically used for multiple sports. The renovation project was funded in 2015 and approved earlier this year.

Recommended project enhancement highlights include the following (via the press release):

- Installation of a “shock pad”, which will be installed directly underneath the turf installation and will improve the field’s impact absorption capabilities and concussion prevention rating. The shock pad comes with a 25-year warranty;

- Use of an alternate turf infill product, “GeoFill”, which is an entirely organic artificial turf infill system, creating the most natural playability possible next to grass;

- This infill choice also stays much cooler than other infill choices, allowing for safer and more comfortable playing surface conditions even in hot weather; - “GeoFill” artificial turf has been in-use for over 10 years, and has more installations across the world than any other organic alternative infill system currently available. GeoFill infill is a 100 percent natural product, comprised of various organic and sand materials, including coconut husk and cork;

- Use of the fully organic infill option eliminates any concerns expressed regarding different chemicals inherently associated with all other fill products, for what we hope will be a more universally acceptable alternative to natural grass for students, parents, coaches and residents.

The installation of the “GeoFill” material alternative is subject to the review and approval of the Hamden Planning and Zoning Commission, which has been requested to review this alternative.

“The quality of our fields, the safety of our athletes, and the health of our community are the most important factors in determining how Hamden proceeds with just about any improvements project,” Leng said. “Given the opportunity to provide better fall protection, a more natural feel to the field of play and near elimination of the chemicals inherent in all other infill choices – this system and design is the best option for this field, at this time”

Read more from the press release below:

“I am very pleased with the decision to move forward with the proposal and GeoFill system,” Pascarella said. “Overall playability and safety has always been my priority in advocating the renovation of these fields. This will be a top quality turf field for Hamden’s athletes and will allow for more outdoor play for multiple different sports teams.”

“As Hamden Soccer Association President, I am very pleased with the decision to move forward with an environmentally safe field for our children,” said Chris Ruggiero, Hamden Soccer Association President. “Geofill is a good alternative, which still provides the feeling and support of a natural grass field without the expensive daily maintenance. This will also allow our community fields in our Town parks to avoid overuse that sometimes occurs when they are heavily played on by youth and adult recreational leagues and the high school teams. It's a great victory for the athletes of Hamden.”

"We applaud Mayor Leng and the Town for choosing safe, natural materials," said Louis Burch of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. "Reducing exposure to toxic chemicals for children should be everyone's top priority. This is a significant victory for Hamden families, and we call on neighboring communities to follow suit."