SOMERVILLE HEAT MAP
Field surfaces marked by type. Note hot dark red where artificial turf fields are located, and cooler yellow by grass fields. Credit Stephen Moore.
SOURCES OF DATA FROM VIDEO
Each field requires between 18,000 and 40,000 crushed car tires. EHHI
Thousands of pounds of infill migrate off each field.
Heat is coming from the plastic blades. TURI
Field heat. EHHI, NRPA, Safe Healthy Playing Fields
Shoes melt, skin burns, and dehydration and heat stroke are likely. Safe Healthy Playing Fields, NRPA
MIAA advice on temp/humidity and whom can play on it
By 2030 40 days over 90, by 2070 90 days over 90 Somerville Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment
THE GREAT MIGRATION
Are you wondering what these are? It's not dirt, and it's not grass. On the top, plastic "grass" blades. Below, crumb rubber. They are blown, kicked, floated, and carried on bodies off of the artificial turf field. These small pieces of plastic will wash into community gardens and planting beds, imbed in the soil, and get into storm drains and be carried along the sewer system. Hopefully, these micro plastics will be filtered out and removed so they do not continue on into the river and ocean where they can be ingested by animals and release toxins into the water. But has anyone studied this? (Actually yes! Sweden has shown that crumb from turf and from poured in place playground surfaces are polluting nearby waterways.) Do we care that uncountable crumbs of crushed tires, which are considered hazardous waste if you try to dispose of them in tire form, are migrating off of the playing area and into the surrounding environment? We should.
WHY ARTIFICIAL TURF FIELDS ARE
THE WRONG CHOICE
For so many reasons, artificial turf is not the right choice. It's hot, its infill and blades migrate into the surrounding environment, it requires expensive maintenance it rarely gets, it's made from plastic. This video was made when the field was four years old. Now, in 2019, at six years, it is scheduled for replacement.
INTERESTED IN LEARNING ABOUT GRASS FIELDS?
Check Out These Organizations That Work to Educate About Why Grass Is Best