There is no shortage of information in the debate about the safety of artificial turf, especially in the soccer community. Recent news reports discussing the potential health risks of crumb rubber have once again fueled the conversation of natural vs. synthetic. Regardless of where your beliefs may lie on crumb rubber, there is no doubt that kids need a place to safely play outside (whatever that activity may be). Natural grass for most of our families and us will provide the means for that play.

Hours are spent running, sliding and falling in the backyard on natural grass. Countless practices in the back of a school or at the local park are also completed on natural grass and much of that time the surface of the grass is not even intended for the constant wear and tear of youth sports. We can debate the merits of natural vs. synthetic; we can’t debate the fact that a little love on our youth fields can provide the safest surface for our youth to learn and develop. Our industry is in a very unique position to influence the debate of natural vs. synthetic. We have the experience and ability to help create and maintain the best possible playing surfaces for those at the earliest of ages. For some of us, achieving those surfaces will be through our knowledge of proper mowing techniques, for others, fertilization, aeration, or field marking will do the job.

Sometimes it only takes one field with a little extra attention and expertise to start a trend. This could happen when a football field looks so good in a picture that some doubt it’s even real grass. It could also happen when a team plays an away game on a field in better condition than theirs. It will almost always start the “what can we do” conversation. Get involved with your local schools and youth organizations. Whether you view the involvement as a chance with a potential customer or a volunteer opportunity, better fields and playing conditions will leave a smile on everyone’s face. Use better fields and playing conditions as springboards to increase your customer base or expand your services.  Everyone wants the reputation of having the best field(s) in the area, and at the end of the day, that is the debate worth having!