A school’s athletic facilities are among its most important features. These areas are essential for physical education courses, recreation, club meetings, practice, team exercises, matches with opposing schools, and more. The importance and constant usage of athletic fields makes proper maintenance a must. Even small amounts of neglect can render such an area not fit for use. Here’s how to maintain a high school athletic field so everyone can continue to enjoy these amenities.
Mind the Material
Athletic fields can be composed in various ways. Some contain natural or modified soil and grass while others are made from artificial turf. There are pros and cons to these different types of fields, but they all require regular maintenance. That said, the materials and strategies employed for maintaining an athletic field depends on what it’s made of. Artificial turf, for instance, doesn’t require regular watering but does need routine rinsing and brushing to redistribute turf infill for a more even foundation. Natural soil, on the other hand, must be consistently mowed, watered, fertilized, soil tested, etc., to keep the grass green and level the playing field, literally.
Regardless of these key material differences, though, every athletic field requires some of the same maintenance tasks, such as landscape debris removal, pest control, and so on. Your landscaping services should have the knowledge and experience regarding different field compositions to provide the proper maintenance protocols when needed.
Develop a Maintenance Strategy
Every school must establish and execute an optimized strategy for athletic field maintenance. This strategy must take multiple factors into account, such as:
Specific needs of the field
Activity levels (i.e., how often the field is used and for which purposes)
Available resources (i.e., personnel and equipment)
Seasonal adjustments (i.e., snow removal in winter, irrigation weatherization, fertilization in spring, etc.)
Taking the time to create and improve this strategy with the aid of your lawn maintenance service will make it easier to schedule various maintenance duties with minimal interference to those who use the field.
When it comes to athletic field maintenance, the health and safety of students, teachers, staff, guests, and patrons must come first. As such, the products and processes implemented to maintain your field should be rated for safety. Certain pesticides, for instance, pose a health risk to those on or near the field, which is why New York State banned the use of such products on school fields and playgrounds via the Child Safe Playing Fields Act (CSPFA). These practices should also be followed in states where similar restrictions are not in place in order to limit the exposure of harmful chemicals to children (and adults).
Of course, no matter how airtight your facility maintenance regimen is, your school’s athletic field might encounter unexpected problems that require immediate attention. Should this happen, the field must be temporarily shut down, so users don’t endanger themselves and/or make matters worse. Having reliable property maintenance services on call will help ensure that your athletic field is back up and running, so it’s safe for use in no time.
Maintaining a Safe and Functional Athletic Field at Your School
Keeping your high school’s athletic fields in good shape is a complex and multifaceted process that requires reliable landscaping professionals. Here at The Budd Group, our landscape experts are proficient in caring for all types of athletic fields and will work with your administrators to devise a customized field maintenance strategy for your needs. To learn more about our various services and everything else that we do for our clients, give us a call today at 800-221-8158!