2015 STMA Sporting Grounds Field of the Year

Championship Field, Pleasant View Sports Complex, Boulder, CO

Focus on safety

The most enjoyable aspect of the job is a happy customer, regardless of age and background, and watching our community enjoy the benefits of our high-quality fields and physical activity. Every effort is put into keeping these fields as compliant as possible.

The Championship Field is more than 20 years old; our emphasis is on field safety, from the beginning of the play year and continuing throughout the year. Clegg testing is the central focus of our fields. The annual results of the Clegg testing are analyzed, recorded and archived for future reference. Every cultural practice is geared toward the findings that we receive from our Clegg and soil tests, which are done in the spring, summer and fall. We find that having a stable and consistent seed bank enables us to better control turf cover and health, which also keeps our sheer strength at a high level.

One of our biggest challenges currently is the high level of organic matter that we have on the field. Currently the level is at or above 5% organic matter on our sand-based field. We perform core aerating and then sweep the field to currently remove organic matter. We also use a Koro recycler/dresser and sweeper to better improve our ever-increasing challenge of field drainage/seed germination and soil compaction challenges.

Our field facility conditions include an on-site field manager during all practices and tournaments who is certified in CPR and AED. We have a lightning safety policy that is submitted to all users and four field managers are well versed in this. We use the safety field checklist from the STMA weekly and conduct quarterly Playing Conditions Index (PCI) inspections with photos for the purpose of keeping up to date with deferred maintenance and liability concerns.

Sustainable practices are at the core of the city’s and our department’s facility maintenance efforts. Our turf has been pesticide and herbicide free for nearly 15 years and is free of products that can cause allergic reactions. The facility is also equipped with a field drainage system that can accommodate many sports and play activities, even during inclement weather.

The small details are also import in operation of our facility. This includes covering valve boxes with artificial turf that stops the cleat slippage, irrigation head height, and divot repair.

We care for our user groups and have built strong relations with them. It is wonderful to see inclusive community pride unfold on our fields. It’s all about empowering our local youth and engaging our future generations through the fun of play!-Aaren Lemieux and John Cogdill, Boulder Parks & Recreation


Category of Submission: Schools/Parks Sporting Grounds

Sports Turf Manager: John Cogdill

Title: City turf/Irrigation and sports field manager

Education: Bachelor of Arts, CLIA

Education B.A. CLIA

Experience: 30 years of City Park and Sports Field development, softball, soccer, multi-purpose installation, renovation

Full-time staff: John Cogdill and Aaren Lemieux

Part-time staff: Ben Reuter

Original construction: 1993

Rootzone: 80% sand, 20% organic

Turfgrass variety: Mix of Barbeta (RPR) Perennial Ryegrass, Pinnacle II Perennial Rye Grass, Barlennium Perennial Ryegrass, Barrister Kentucky Bluegrass, Full Moon Kentucky Bluegrass, Barrari Kentucky Bluegrass, Barimpala Kentucky Bluegrass

Overseed: Broadcast seeding, slit seeding and spot seeding

Drainage: Underground full herringbone design with 8” mainline tied with flexible 4” coiled plastic

Soil amendments: Recycling dresser aerates the underlying soil vertically and horizontally, removing solids from the rootzone and re-distributing it across the playing surface. Laying and compaction are eliminated, biological activity increased and existing fertilizer in the soil are better used. The recycling dresser eliminates topdressing purchases, saving labor and material costs with sustainable recycling of soil within the profile.

Why STMA should consider your field a winner?

The Pleasant View maintenance team faced the challenges of a heavy March snow and the wettest May in Colorado’s records. The team was able to persevere around adverse weather conditions by implementing a solid maintenance management plan. The end result was maintaining a high level of excellence on the Championship Field.

Welcome to the City of Boulder Pleasant View’s Championship field! Celebrated as “ Boulder’s finest sport’s turf”, this field is a sand based sports field that attracts regional, national, and international events such as national Irish Football, Ultimate Frisbee, Lacrosse, Rugby tournaments, and the annual Rocky Mountain Cup Showcase Youth Soccer Tournament. The championship field is located against the scenic backdrop of Colorado’s Front Range; the field is in use from March through the middle of November and intended for Youth (ages 3 to 17) and adult sports leagues, camps and tournaments.

The Championship field has been in use since 1993. Throughout the years, the award-winning field has provided the City of Boulder with versatile field spaces for all to enjoy. The field’s maintenance practices align with the community-wide culture of sustainability. As a result, the field’s turf has been maintained without the use of pesticides and herbicides for nearly 15 years, and is free of products that can cause allergic reactions. The field is also equipped with an underground, full herringbone drainage design with 8: mainlines tied with flexible 4” coiled plastic drainage system that can accommodate many sports and play activities, even during various weather conditions.

Some of the major maintenance practices and field features include; Daily field assessment to determine if additional seed, top dressing, irrigation and aeration is needed, to promote field safety, and to provide the highest level of field performance possible. An Irrigation audit is performed in early spring in order to better provide appropriate water delivery and promote Water Conservation. Weekly Irrigation checks are conducted to endure a healthy field. There is a weather station on site that provides updated information about the site in order to appropriately schedule Irrigation programs. The field is soil tested three times a year to ensure appropriate, yet not excessive, nutrient delivery. The field is checked multiple times a year via a Clegg tool to insure safety compliance, both before and after major tournaments.

Pleasant View’s championship field has become one of Colorado’s favorite places to play sports. The field is experiencing more use than ever before, with a growth of over 22% of play from 2014.

Sporting Grounds’ maintenance challenges: Lacrosse always offers a unique challenge when maintaining the playing surface. Due to the high activity around the goal mouths, the turf is reduced to solid sand. The challenge is to re-grow the turf here and in other high use areas in a short time. This must be done without the field getting a break from other scheduled activities. We employed a more aggressive over seeding program to keep pace with the high level of play, and we also added an addition five fields to spread out the use the activity on each field.

Each sport requires a slightly different maintenance management plan. Many of the maintenance practices are similar, such as fertilization, mowing, and recycle dressing, but some of the practices differ when dealing with multiple sports. Seeding, irrigation, and aeration practices may change due to the different ware patterns that each unique sport causes on the field. Painting and goal placement is also an obvious practice that is also unique to each respective sport


Maintenance plan







Early season dormancy watering begins (based upon the year), overseeding (RPR) late in month based upon soil temperatures.

Paint lines using small percentage (2oz. per 100gal. of water/paint) Primo-every 15 days 1/2lb of BK 46-0-0 Urea

Consistent foliar injection application of 10-0-10 Liquid fertigation supplement at 5%. Aeration and field drag applied.

Mowing begins at the end of the month.


Recycler dresser, 1/2lb of BK 46-0-0 Urea. Overseeding continues, Mowing continues at 2/5” as needed based upon temperatures and level of play


1lb of N applied- 15-0-15. Aeration and overseeding as needed in wear areas. Mowing at 2.5” continues three times per week, or more, as needed. Last overseeding for the spring is done. Introduce HGT Bluegrass as overseed for time period. Increase Irrigation as needed. Perform Irrigation audit in early May to address as necessary in play and wear areas.

Line painting, trimming, edging (as needed), and sharpening of all mower blades weekly to reduce leaf tear and Carbon emissions.


1lb. pr. 1000. 41-0-0-N/METHx-40=31.8. 10-0-10 Liquid fertigation supplement at 5%. Increase Irrigation based upon ET/sensor and weather station (on site). Mowing occurs, as needed, for playability. Overseeding continues to be applied to wear areas. Top dressing and seed are applied to all divot areas. Paint lines, trim, edge, etc. Provide crack/seal to walkways, parking lots, etc.


10-0-10 Liquid fertigation supplement at 5%. Maximum water used during this month. Check and maintain Irrigation heads and provide additional bi-monthly Irrigation check as standard practice. Topdress and overseed, as needed, in wear and divot areas. Mow for best playability.

Aerate, Edge, Trim, sharpen mower blades, and field painting- weekly


10-0-10 Liquid fertigation supplement at 5%. Begin Bluegrass overseed work on, or about, first week in August. Continue irrigation inspections. Mowing for maximum playability, Aerate as often as possible (depending on day and night time temperatures), fertilizer application of 1lb actual N in the middle of the month.


Fertilize with 1lb of N. Fertilizer injector continues to run 10-0-10 Liquid fertigation supplement at 5%.

Aerate, Trim, Edge

Additional overseeding- Bluegrass early in the month with supplemental Ryegrass in worn areas. Irrigation system check- raise, replace (as needed) any worn components. Mow at 2/5” for maximum play.


10-0-10 Liquid fertigation supplement at 5%. Fertilize with 1lb N/K (slow release)- aerate- Irrigation slows down based upon weather. Divot fill with Rye continues based upon temperatures. Mowing continues at rate needed based on weather and frost.


Fertilize with .5lb slow release N/K. Blow out Irrigation system.