Project EverGreen and SFMA breathe new life into underused baseball field
Project EverGreen, members of the Sports Field Management Association (SFMA) and the Volusia County Schools teamed up on January 21 at Palm Terrace Elementary School in Daytona Beach to give the school’s long dormant baseball field and grassy play area a $35,000 makeover.
The goal of the 100,000-square-foot field renovation project was to leave the school and community with a safe, well-maintained, and accessible ballfield and recreation space they can call their own.
“A single group or individual cannot make these transformations a reality. Project EverGreen builds coalitions of businesses and individuals to make it happen,” said Cindy Code, executive director of Project EverGreen. “Schools with healthy and well-maintained athletic fields and recreation spaces improves the social fabric of a community by providing a place to safely compete, exercise and connect in an outdoor space.”
Project EverGreen works with under-resourced communities to renovate, maintain, and make more accessible healthy playing fields, as well as to improve the environmental health of public green spaces. The 100,000 square feet of grass at the Palm Terrace play field is responsible for sequestering nearly 60,000 pounds of carbon from the air annually which is equivalent to removing 7.5 cars fueled by gas from the road.
Together with financial and in-kind contributions and support from professional volunteers, park renovations not only create a healthy, safe green space, but establish healthy community hubs that promote future improvements in and around the school and outdoor play area.
“We are humbled by Project EverGreen’s generosity, time, service, and thankful for their commitment to empower others, especially our students. Their support makes a huge impact in our community,” said Karen Troutman, principal of Palm Terrace Elementary.
The school is part of Volusia County Schools, which has 90 schools and more than 62,000 students. The school’s dormant ballfield needed renovation to guarantee it would become a safe, environmentally sustainable part of the Palm Terrace Elementary community.
The makeover included:
Layout of the new infield, which was changed from its current location at the bottom of the play area so home plate will now be closer to the school. This also eliminated water puddling on the field.
Layout and marking the locations of home plate, pitching rubber and bases at 60 feet.
Layout and removal of the grass areas around home plate (20-foot circle), the pitching area (12-foot circle) and each base (9-foot radius).
Removing existing topsoil to a depth of approximately 3” from each area and storing it for future needs.
Install new baseball infield mix (approximately 15 tons), new home plate, 18” pitching rubber and a ‘Break-away’ base set, including anchors.
Aerate all turf areas – approximately 100,000 sq. ft. to improve the overall health of the soil and grass.
Feed all turf areas with a balanced fertilizer – approximately 500 lbs.
Over-seed all turf areas with a Triplex Perennial Ryegrass.
SFMA supported the renovation project by asking its members to assist with the planning and hands-on renovation work.
“It has become an annual tradition for our members to help rejuvenate a sports field in the community hosting our SFMA conference and we’re excited to be a part of this year’s transformative project at Palm Terrace Elementary School,” said SFMA President Sun Roesslein, CSFM. “Our team of dedicated sports field managers brings unparalleled expertise to this project, and we’re honored to contribute our skills to give back to the Daytona Beach community. Project EverGreen embodies SFMA’s steadfast commitment to ensure safe sports fields are available for people of all ages to practice, play, and compete.”
John Widick, assistant director of maintenance and operations for Volusia County Schools, said the ballfield renovation is a golden opportunity for Palm Terrace’s students, staff and parents.
“Our children deserve the best playing fields and this project has given us the opportunity to have a professionally designed and constructed ballfield for all to enjoy,” said Widick. “Not only will our students, staff and families enjoy it, but it will also give back 10-fold to the community.”
In-kind donors to the project include:
All Terrain Tractor Service
Bulldog Field Equipment
Sports Field Solutions LLC
St. Johns Turf Care
The Toro Company
Since 2008, Project EverGreen has renovated more than 100 community parks and restored 200 million square feet of healthy turf across the country.