STC Searches For The Real Field of Dreams

The Synthetic Turf Council is now accepting submissions for its fifth annual Search for the Real Field of Dreams, which recognizes the power that synthetic turf has to transform communities and schools, and keep youth active, healthy and fit. The national contest is open to schools (K-12 and college), parks, businesses and public spaces in the United States and Canada that have compelling stories about the impact of their synthetic turf field or installation. Submissions are due by September 1, 2013 and will be evaluated by an independent panel of judges. The grand prize is $1,000, and all winners receive publicity and a modest cash award. Visit to learn more.


Tell Your Turface Story And Win Big

As part of its 50th anniversary celebration in 2013, Turface Athletics “My Turface Story” is giving those who have maintained their fields with the conditioner a reason to celebrate, too. The contest asks field managers, coaches, or volunteers to share the ways in which Turface products have improved their sports fields, saved a game from a rainout, helped them solve problems or made their jobs easier. Each entrant will receive a free Turface Athletics windbreaker jacket just for entering, and one submission will be selected at random to win a grand prize package of four tons of Turface product and $500 to purchase field maintenance supplies. Visit to fill out the entry form.


Propane Council Extends Incentive Program

Washington —The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) recently extended its Propane Mower Incentive Program through 2013, giving landscape contractors another full year to apply for more than $1 million in incentives toward the purchase of new propane-fueled commercial mowers or propane mower conversion kits.

Applicants accepted into the program can receive either $1,000 toward each newly purchased propane-fueled commercial mower or $500 toward qualified mowers converted to run on propane. The incentive can be applied toward up to 25 mowers per applicant, including both new and qualified conversion propane mowers. Program participants must report to PERC on the equipment’s performance and usage for one mowing season.

For more information, visit


Quality Equipment & Spray Offers Money-Back Guarantee

Phoenix, Ariz.—Phoenix spray equipment manufacturer Quality Equipment & Spray has announced a no-questions-asked, money-back satisfaction guarantee on its best-selling pest control spray rigs and weed control sprayers. The company focuses on building reliable sprayers to boost technician productivity and reduce downtime, and make routine preventive maintenance easier. For more information, call (602) 371-1993, or visit

----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Seals Delight Readers

Hello Rodney,

Quick note to let you know that I enjoyed your “Seals & Diving Boards” Publisher’s Note (April 2013), including the nice closing!

Karen Andrus-Hughes

Marketing Manager

S.R. Smith, LLC

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- Floating Maintenance Feasible For Aquatics?


There is some talk about perhaps changing the mode of [aquatic] operations where there would be a floating maintenance team that we would turn to; this team would have multiple facilities in the city to oversee. Do you have any thoughts on the subject?

Ron Collins


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It all comes down to what you/your local government are willing to give up. The “floating maintenance” concept is being forced on many parks and rec departments due to the economy. The “floating” teams get diverted to many other areas and then the programming staff and customer services reps are stuck cleaning bathrooms, disinfecting showers, swabbing floors, etc. It’s not that they are above that, but when they’re doing that, they aren’t able to do their own jobs effectively, so the service to patrons suffers, not to mention the morale of the staff. But they want to keep their jobs so they do the best they can.

As we have all experienced, when the municipal budgets get tight, parks and rec maintenance is normally one of the first targets that are raised for reductions. I don’t have a problem with that—if I was city manager I’d do it too.

However, I’d draw the line at safety, and when you are talking about aquatic facilities—safety should always be on top of the list.

Good luck!

Randy Gaddo

Maintenance Columnist

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Seeking Fall Material Advice


We are doing some research on the best material for a preschool playground (available in South Africa). We have heard some negative comments on the safety rubber matting (that it is not good for falling and toxicity). Do you know where we can find some scientific research on this as well as the … alternatives?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Kind Regards,

Lize Gerneke

studioMAS architects + urban designers

----------------------------                           ----------------------------

Hi Lize,

I am not aware of any studies that show toxicity in rubberized surfaces, but I can give you the benefit of my experience. In my case, it was a poured-in-place rubber surface on a large, all-access, fully handicap-accessible playground. The poured-in-place rubber provided excellent safety for falls—it is bouncy enough to absorb even falls from higher equipment, yet solid enough for a wheelchair or walker. It lasted well considering the amount of use on this playground—which was the most heavily used in the city. The only problem we had was around seams, which were there because we had to do the playground in three phases due to cost … however, if I had to do it again I’d try to do the rubber in one pour to avoid seams.

The granulated rubber that comes from used tires and tennis shoes is just about as shock absorbing as poured-in-place rubber, but it needs to be poured thick, and it does get kicked out of heavy-use areas, so there is maintenance involved. No real maintenance of poured-in-place other than to keep it clean.

I hope this information helps.

Best Regards,

Randy Gaddo

Maintenance Columnist


Sell The Experience

Looking for new and creative ways to get the word out about your programs? Instead of agonizing over marketing copy, let your patrons do the talking. Tina Young, Recreation Superintendent in Pleasant Hill, Calif., sent this example of selling an experience to potential participants:

In 2011, Florence “Flossi” Denison lost her husband of more than 60 years. “My life was empty and lonely after he died; all I had to look forward to was a summer vacation in New York to visit my youngest son and his family. But then I discovered the Pleasant Hill Senior Center and it all changed,” says Flossi with a twinkle in her eye. “I'd like to tell everyone out there who loses a spouse or lives alone that your life isn't over! You too can find a new beginning here at the Center.”

Flossi has a new lease on life and has decided “life begins at 80.” She feels the center is a great place to meet people, find comfort sharing your troubles, or just escape. She plans to expand her horizons and take a trip or two, borrow books from the lending library, go to the free monthly movie and perhaps join an art class. Her friend, Inge Noble, 90, took the “mystery trip” last month and was delighted by the emcee who imitated Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Bobby Darin. Flossi is considering a mystery trip, too, in the future if she can fit it into her (now) busy life.


Field Notes

Playworld Systems , a manufacturer of playground and fitness equipment, named Michael Laris director of product development and strategy. Most recently Laris served as concept and design creation manager for Kompan.

SYNLawn’s SYNBermuda 200 and SYNRye 250 have received a class one fire rating (ASTM E 648) offering increased safety when artificial grass is installed on playgrounds or other fire-sensitive applications.

Congratulations to the city of Henderson, Nev., for being named a Playful City USA Community for the sixth time by KaBoom . Henderson is the only community in Nevada to earn this national designation. Sponsored by the Humana Foundation, Playful City USA is a national program that celebrates and promotes local policies that increase play opportunities for children.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- STMA Releases Advocacy Manual For Members

The Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) has just released a 20-page members-only Advocacy Manual that aims to assist those in the sports field industry with community and state government public policy advocacy efforts, both proactive and reactive.  The online toolkit can be found in the “Knowledge Center” (Members Only) under the “Environmental Stewardship” tab. For more information, visit .

-------------------------------------------------------------------------- Recognition Well Deserved

William DeMaio, director of New Britain’s parks and recreation department, has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the annual Olstead Award by the Connecticut Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

He was selected for the award as a tireless advocate for urban parks, overseeing more than 800 acres of park lands in New Britain.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Playworld Releases Updated PlayPod App

Playworld Systems’ mobile maintenance tool PlayPod has been updated to include additional options for users, including an optional feature that gives community members three ways to make a donation to a playground, including the ability to “donate now.” Also new is the customer’s ability to manage their play equipment information via the customizable PlayPod website. Visit to learn more.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- RNT Solutions To Serve Aquatic Industry

Akron, Ohio—RNT Solutions, LLC has been formed to focus on new product development and business acquisitions for the competitive swimming and water polo markets. Neal Thomas is bringing his 30+ years of experience in the aquatic industry to create a company focused on the end-user of aquatic products. He formerly headed up Competitor Swim Products, a Division of Richey Industries.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ RecyclePro Accepts GSA Advantage

RecyclePro Receptacles can be purchased under Fibrex’s GSA Federal Contract #GS-07F-0239M. If you are a federal, state, or local government or a military installation who qualifies to purchase from GSA Advantage, you can now purchase these versatile receptacles directly from their website . Receptacles are fabricated with recycled, fire-proof aluminum or steel and are available in single, dual, and triple compartments.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- Word On The Web

On “Create Exceptional Customer Service, PRB January 2013:

A great article; makes you think about the product you are presenting—the product of customer service. Anyone can make a widget. It takes a customer service professional to make the widget experience special.

-- Johnathan Skinner

Great article that serves as a reminder to us all of our potential impact when we take the time to do little things in an exceptional way.

--Dave Hagedorn




17-20 Nevada Recreation and Park Society Conference, Incline Village, Nev. at Lake Tahoe;

24-27 Minnesota Recreation and Park Association Annual Conference, Brooklyn Center, Minn.—Earle Brown Heritage Center;

25-27 Colorado Parks & Recreation Association, Vail, Colo.


1-3 West Virginia Recreation and Parks Association Conference, Twin Falls State Park;

8-10 National Recreation and Parks Association National Congress, Houston, Texas

16-18 10 th Annual World Aquatic Health Conference, Indianapolis, Ind.—Hyatt Regency Downtown;


5-7 Georgia Recreation and Parks Association Conference, Columbus, Ga.

17-21 Tennessee Recreation and Parks Association Conference, Chattanooga, Tenn.

25- 26 Connecticut Recreation and Parks Association Annual Conference & Tradeshow, Montville, Conn.--Mohegan Sun Hotel & Convention Center;


6-10 American Sports Builders Association Annual Technical Meeting, San Antonio, Texas;