The Field Fund, Inc. is committed to forging long-term partnerships with the Island’s towns, schools, and recreational leagues, and working together to supplement each other’s efforts so that the fields are vibrant, safe resources for students, teams, and the community at large.
Meet with stakeholders to better understand field usage, existing maintenance practices, time constraints, needs, and town regulations.
Take soil nutrient samples once per year. Ten soil samples per field are mixed together to form a representative sample then sent to the lab for analysis.
Utilize aerial photography to track field conditions.
Periodically test and GPS map compaction, moisture, organic and salt content to identify needs and determine next steps.
Work with our team to devise a prescription for improving each field which might include all or several of the following supplemental actions. (Note: All of this work is done in between regular field uses. For example, we do not ask that schools or towns close the fields after decompaction or seeding.)
Surface decompaction of entire field with Redexim Level Spike aerator (at least four times per year)
Surface decompaction in high traffic areas with Redexim Level Spike aerator (one time per month)
Subsurface decompaction (at least two times per year)
Slit seed with high quality perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass using Redexim Overseeder (typically twice per year). *See note below on seed selection.
Improve and increase mowing practices (twice a week in growing season)
Organic fertilization as dictated by soil nutrient and organic matter testing (with a cumulative nitrogen total of 2 lbs of nitrogen per 1000 ft2 per year). Note: On two sites that are special protection areas due to their proximity to wellheads, no fertilizer is applied.
Perform periodic irrigation checks and audits to ensure maximum efficiency
Manage irrigation schedule based on weather and soil moisture data
Coordinate maintenance responsibilities with each respective school/town partner. This also includes scheduling our supplemental maintenance around recess, classes, etc. While we have never asked a school or town to close a field during or after maintenance, we do our best to avoid disrupting the regular field use.
Share the Field Fund's three guidelines for field use with all user groups (teachers, coaches, players and spectators):
Respect each other.
Respect the field. (Try to use the entire field and move the goals around when possible.)
The challenging weather conditions on Martha’s Vineyard combined with its sandy soils puts all seed types to the test. Fast establishment and durability are paramount. To achieve this, The Field Fund utilizes both regenerating perennial ryegrasses and super elite Kentucky bluegrasses. These superior perennial ryegrasses germinate in under 5 days at very low soil temperatures. Once established, the ryegrass is extremely durable and able to withstand heavy use and survive summer heat stress. Super elite Kentucky bluegrass germinates and grows at higher soil temperatures than ryegrass. But even when not growing, the spreading rhizomes and strong, deep, dense root system of Kentucky bluegrass provides stability and support for the ryegrass. The combination of the different varieties of grass creates a superior sward of grass to support heavy-use nearly year round. Note: High quality grass seed has been selected for specific traits (fast germination, durability, etc).