11 thoughts on “Saxe Playing Fields To Be Surveyed for Artificial Turf Installation

  1. When it rains, the water has to go somewhere. Artificial turf would presumably need drainage upgrades to go along with it. Is there an option to improve the drainage and keep the natural turf? There is evidence that artificial turf has a higher rate of foot and ankle injuries than natural turf.

  2. Turf fields have been banned around the country. Wilton recently had a referendum vote to decide whether or not to install a new turf field. The “no” voters won that referendum. Their concerns were the “forever chemicals” used in materials that turf fields are made of that take a long time to naturally break down and are linked to serious health risks for the athletes using those fields. Their other concern is the heat islands created by turf fields that materially increase playing field temperatures on hot days. The obvious benefit to turf fields is that they can be used during and after rainfall occurs. If New Canaan had a referendum on this issue I would vote “no” and I think it’s unfair for New Canaan to build more turf fields beyond the 11 that we already have while towns that our sports teams compete with are curtailing their use of turf fields. Let’s keep the playing field level.

  3. Closing of the town fields has been a very very real issue this Fall. One area we need to consider is the Waveny soccer fields. They appear to get very little use during the week. I would encourage people to consider them as possible ‘swing space’ for town sports during the week as we spread out the demand load on the various fields to avoid overuse in wet (or dry can also be an issue) conditions of the existing fields. That does not solve recess issues at Saxe during the rain, but it does reduce the overall load at Saxe (and in front of the High School) allowing for quicker reopening of those fields. This combined with better drainage may be a lower cost and faster solution.

  4. I would encourage the town to look at other options in lieu of more turf – turf (even the cutting edge kind) increases probability of injury and is ridden with toxic forever chemicals. If the town continues to install these turf fields I can almost guarantee in another 10 years we will be paying to rip them out when we realize how bad they really are for the environment and our kids’ health.

  5. I agree with others, the tide has turned against the use of artificial turf, the pfas microplastics that are inextricably linked to them. The question is why isn’t there signage on the existing fields to alert those using them to possible health risks as other towns have done?


  6. Researchers at Brigham Young University tested two football fields that were right next to each other, one with natural grass and one with artificial grass. The surface of the artificial turf field got as much as 86 degrees hotter than the grass field on a summer day. In addition, they off-gas and make abrasions more dangerous. A study this year by the Yale School of the Environment found they contain 10 carcinogens, 20 irritants, and many other chemicals on which there is no research. https://www.ehhi.org/chemicals.php

  7. Another “Private-Public” partnership driving agendas to the detriment of sound policy making and child health. The “Turf” ingredients are all you need to read: Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM) rubber, thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), waste athletic shoe materials, and acrylic-coated sand. Why the silence from the PTC & Town Health Dept?

    • I spoke last night [Monday, November 13] at the Special P+Z Meeting held in person at Town Hall and via zoom. The topic included environmental concerns and the purpose was to solicit residents’ input for the town’s 2024 Plan of Conservation and Development.
      I specifically referred to this article, mentioning the title and I asked that the POCD committee read residents’ comments. A thorough study of grass vs. artificial turf should be conducted before moving ahead with any installation on our playing fields.

      Your comments are critical, however, they should be addressed to the POCD sub-committee. New Canaanite readers who took the time to write comments and provide links, please copy/paste them and email our Town Planner. Subject: “For Distribution to the POCD Sub-Committee Members”. Contact information is: sarah.carey@newcanaanct.gov

      Mike, thank you for raising awareness of this BOS agenda discussion.

  8. I contacted First Selectman Moynihan on this issue in the spring and was referred to the relevant agency head from which I received this response:

    “From my experience, artificial fields offer many benefits over natural grass fields. They provide a more consistent playing surface, which can help reduce the risk of injury. They also require less maintenance, which can save time and money. Additionally, artificial fields can be used year-round, regardless of weather conditions. This can help ensure that games and practices are not cancelled due to rain or other inclement weather.

    “In New Canaan, we have multiple fields which are constructed with the most up-to-date standards. Both the carpet and the infill material has been tested, and we haven’t seen any credible testing for hazardous conditions. The infill material is a combination of sand and virgin rubber pellets. Our fields do not have any recycled tires which is one of the main concerns with the infill.

    “Westport didn’t ban artificial fields. Instead, they made requirements on the infill material. They have been using thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) for an infill material. They are also required by the manufacturer to install a shock pad underneath the carpet since this material isn’t as springy. Westport is in the process of design and installation of two more fields which should come on line in the next year.

    “Artificial fields are environmentally friendly. They do not require the use of fertilizers or pesticides, which can be harmful to the environment. Also, with the artificial fields, we have water detention basins and galleries installed to collect the rain water eliminating excessive runoff and flooding.

    “In conclusion, artificial fields provide many benefits over natural grass fields. They offer a more consistent playing surface, require less maintenance, can be used year-round, are more environmentally friendly and can be customized to meet the specific needs of different sports.”

    No doubt there is a lot of pressure for the town’s school fields to compete at the same level of quality and access as other towns and artificial turf at least is sold toward that end. However health and environomental risks should be paramount.

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