Letter: Choosing Natural Grass Over Artificial Turf is a Sustainable Future

With nearly every passing day, more articles with more evidence are being presented, with similar conflicts all over the country, if not internationally.

Rendering of an artificial turf surface at Nursery Field
Published June 28, 2024 8:58 AM
2 min read

0:00

To the Editor,

It’s not news that the individuals in this community have each other’s backs.

It’s not news that citizens, volunteers, City Council members, and city employees work long hours, deep dive into research, and take field trips when necessary (pun intended) to see how other communities handle similar issues.

Nobody is lazy, we all weigh evidence and we come to our own educated conclusions. And then the work begins; to convince others who may be a bit less engaged on the hot topic of the moment. In this case, it’s the will we or won’t we roll out artificial turf plastic over Nursery Field?

Interestingly, the longer this goes on, the harder it becomes. With nearly every passing day, more articles with more evidence are being presented, with similar conflicts all over the country, if not internationally.

Just google “turf vs. grass debate” and see what appears. Or try “pros vs cons.” In my search, the pros all came from “pros”: professionals of the Synthetic Turf Industry. The “cons” come from parents, players, environmentalists, scientists, and health professionals.

Bringing this back to the community we love and the children we care about, please note the following:

Rye currently bans plastic bags. (Thank you, City Council, circa 2011) .

NYC banned plastic straws except upon request in 2021. Many Rye establishments have followed their example. My favorite local replacement is in the new coffee spot, Sunshine Coffee on Purdy Street, which offers dried linguine near the milk and sugar, for stirring! They don’t have to, it’s not a law or regulation in Rye, but they choose to do the right thing, because it’s the right thing to do.

It’s such a disconnect that Rye is being pressured to consider laying down 2.3 acres of plastic, in a wetland area, which needs replacement every 7-10 years at great future cost to taxpayers, as the donor group is not a providing replacement fund. That will be on all of us.

Other communities across the world are demonstrating they can achieve increased playing time on well-maintained natural grass fields. Rye can be, and should be, one of those communities.

City Council: Increased field playing time can be done without plastic and without a future tax burden.

Do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.

—Paula Fung

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