STMA President Jimmy Simpson, CSFM, shared the following message via e-mail to members on April 1:
The constantly shifting sands of the COVID-19 crisis has magnified the many challenges everyone is currently facing. We are in a humanitarian crisis with significant loss of life, and as important as our sports fields are, the safety and well-being of our members is a priority. We will bring our fields back, stronger and healthier than ever.
I would be remiss for not taking the time to thank all first responders, doctors and health care providers and their families for all they’ve given and sacrificed during this fight against COVID-19. Many industries have banded together to provide a cohesive response to this crisis, and I know our industry will follow suit.
As shelter-in-place orders expand across the country, one constant is green industry and maintenance personnel being deemed “essential service workers” with relation to public health. I would like to express my gratitude to all the persons who in recent weeks have recognized our industry as essential and allowed some level of maintenance to take place in many areas of the country. Being deemed essential is important as it confirms that leaders within individual communities see the value of our work and the services we provide.
Sports field managers recognize the critical role we play to maintain the safety of athletic surfaces. As this country shifts from crisis-management to recovery, outdoor facilities will be top of mind for everyone. Our web page is stocked with information that can help. People will be eager to recreate, get outside and in-turn put a large amount of stress on athletic surfaces nationwide for their personal and mental health and wellbeing. By performing some level of maintenance, fields will be ready for the influx of activity much more quickly than if we were unable to maintain the fields.
As you and your teams navigate these times of uncertainty, remember that it is important to document your work, both in writing and with pictures. Documentation allows you to provide status updates to leadership teams regarding team activities while adhering to proper social distancing practices. In many cases, our leaders have trusted us, and it is our duty to act responsibly while doing everything possible to protect the safety of those who use our surfaces.
Thank you for the patience as we collectively navigate this crisis. The Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) has a wide variety of available resources for you. As the recovery begins, the STMA is poised to help you with appropriate educational resources. Please reach out to the association, the Board of Directors or me personally if there is anything, we can do to help you during this time.
Your Board of Directors is available for questions. Please contact STMAinfo@STMA.org or contact me directly at ph. 919-380-2126.