Cal Ripken, Sr. Field benefits from grounds management seminar

Several years ago, the baseball diamond at Aberdeen High School received a much-needed facelift. It also received a name: Cal Ripken, Sr. Field.

On June 20, the infield portion of the field received a much needed update as part of the 2017 Sustainable Grounds Management Seminar, hosted by Harford County Public Schools, Ripken Baseball, The Town of Bel Air, Pro’s Choice and The Mill.

More than 130 attendees lent a hand to bring much needed improvements to the school’s main baseball field, while learning about new maintenance practices. The event was designed for Grounds Maintenance professionals from around the region to learn about proper turf and campus management practices.

“This is actually the second time we’ve done it. I try to do an annual sustainability conference through the schools,” HCPS Resource Conservation Manager Andrew Cassilly said. “Sometimes I’ve done sustainable school construction, a couple of sustainable ground maintenance workshops. Just to let our folks, as well as other people that are on the front lines, kind of see what’s the latest and greatest, what are the new practices and concepts that are out there. This is the biggest one we’ve had yet. It went very well, we were very excited.”

Pro’s Choice and a team of professionals worked with the workshop attendees to clean base paths, apply soil amendments, and re-construct the pitcher’s mound. Pro’s Choice and The Mill in Bel Air, donated the supplies, estimated to be roughly $2,200.

Dave Boniface, an employee of The Mill, was a speaker at the workshop. “My forte is nutrients, turf grass because I was a golf course superintendent for 18 years,” Boniface said. “I do a lot of speaking and educating on the proper care of turf grass and of course athletic fields are turf grass.”

Boniface says The Mill owner Henry Holloway and staff were invited to attend by Harford County and they joined up.” We had a pretty good event,” Boniface said. “We had speakers from tree care and no mow areas. It was all done in a fashion to be safe for the environment, the biggest bang for your buck and use of the right products at the right time is what my talk is about.”

Workshop attendees represented five school systems and four local governments from around the region as well as several commercial landscaping companies.

“I’m telling you, if it’s taken care of and this works, which it looks like it will, it could be the best field in the county,” former Aberdeen High baseball coach Tim Lindecamp said. Lindecamp, who announced he was stepping down just a month and a half ago, is still the Athletic Director at the school. “It’s pretty sweet, I was surprised.”-Randy McRoberts, The Aegis