‘Turf’s up’ early at MBL Park

The artificial turf surface on Field No. 1 at Mayor Bob Leonard is nearing completion amd well ahead of schedule, said town of Farragut’s leading official on parks.

“It looks like this project will be done several weeks early. We expect the field to be complete in the next couple of weeks – weather dependent,” Sue Stuhl, Parks and Leisure Services Director, said.

She said the field would be available to rent starting Saturday, Aug. 6. Users can rent it through field use allocation or field use pre-pay process. She said none the fields at Mayor Bob Leonard and McFee Park are available for drop-in use.

“They are only available by reservation,” she said.

She said the artificial turf used would be a carpet made of slit-film polyethylene fibers tufted into a woven backing.

She listed many benefits to having artificial turf. She said unlike the previous natural turf field, renters could play on the field year round except during extreme heat, snow or thunderstorms.

“Fields will be open even after a big rain event when natural turf fields may be closed due to wet conditions,” she said.

Another factor she said would make the field more available for play would be the lack of weekly maintenance.

She also said maintenance for the artificial turf would be minimal without mowing, fertilizing or turf repairs, and the lack of need for irrigation would mean less money spent on water.

She said the project cost $608,666 for construction plans and construction combined.

Stuhl said the old field often required biweekly mowing, usually from March to November. She said the natural turf receives applications of fertilizer several times a year, over-seeding of winter rye grass in late fall, aerating, field repair and irrigation.

By contrast, she said maintenance for the new field would be minimal, adding the only regular maintenance required for the artificial field would be quarterly redistribution of the graded sand and rubber crumb infill mix.