The Field Fund visits the State House to be honored by UMASS Lowell Toxic Use Reduction Institute
Thank you. And congratulations to all the other grant winners. Your work – from reducing toxic chemicals in auto body shops to raising awareness about endocrine disrupting receipts to the intrepid Wooster Public School’s decreasing toxic exposures throughout their vast system – has inspired The Field Fund’s work. Thank you to TURI for supporting our efforts and for bringing us together.
The Field Fund was founded in 2017 to offer a non-toxic, affordable alternative to plastic fields: a data-driven, organic, regenerative approach to grass field maintenance. We offer expertise, supplemental maintenance and resources to Martha’s Vineyard’s schools and towns so that Island children and our community can have access to safe, affordable playing fields. We were, and remain, profoundly concerned about the toxic exposures, as well as the financial and environmental impacts associated with plastic fields.
When we started, we had no idea how intense the pro plastic lobby would be – the global synthetic turf market was valued at over 2 billion last year and is forecasted to reach 3.35 billion by 2025, paving and plasticizing hundreds more acres of land as it expands. They are a marketing machine and have successfully promoted a message that grass cannot support high usage, is expensive and requires tons of toxic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides in order to thrive. But we are here to report, thanks to our TURI funded Get Out The Word On Grass campaign, it’s not and it doesn’t! Grass GROWS!
And well-maintained grass fields do more than thrive.
A properly decompacted field, not only supports a healthy root system, it also supports the athletes, offering a more shock absorbent surface.
A healthy root system and improved soil microbiology not only supports high use fields and requires less fertilizer, they also enable fields to serve as a carbon sink. Fields are a climate mitigation tool!
A 1% increase in the soil’s organic content, enables a field to hold another 20,000 gallons of water per acre. This means the field becomes a natural sieve for runoff and requires even less water.
In short, helping fields helps everything: our athletes and our increasingly stressed environment. We hope that by offering a blueprint, The Field Fund can inspire other communities to thoughtfully invest in their own fields before the plastic field salesmen come knocking!
Everyone following the news understands how urgent the issues of toxic exposures and climate change are. The facts are terrifying. For we Field Fund ladies, the only antidote is action. It’s reassuring and thrilling to be in a room filled with like-minded doers. Thank you for all you are doing individually and collectively. May we all persist, persuade and prevail!