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Synthetic Turf International Reports Growing Use of Synthetic Turf for Pets Increasing number of homeowners, doggie daycares and animal shelters are turning to synthetic turf for the recreation, relief and comfort of their animals. Synthetic Turf International Reports Growing Use of Synthetic Turf for Pets Increasing number of homeowners, doggie daycares and animal shelters are turning to synthetic turf for the recreation, relief and comfort of their animals. (CLICK HERE to see the full article)

Synthetic Turf International Finds an Increasing Number of Playgrounds Nationwide are Installing Synthetic Turf Surfaces

Posted: Sep 16, 2013 10:56 AM EDT

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More daycares, schools and service organizations are turning to synthetic turf playgrounds for the safety and development of the kids they serve.

Dalton, Geogia (PRWEB) September 16, 2013

According to Synthetic Turf International (STI), a growing number of daycare facilities and schools nationwide are investing in synthetic turf surfaces for their playgrounds in order to create more opportunities to play outside while promoting the safety and development of the kids they serve.

Recent studies have shown that outdoor play can improve a childs learning outcomes, self-esteem and physical well-being, said Dakota Harp, General Manager of Synthetic Turf International. Able to be used year-round depending on climate, our synthetic turf surfaces create safer, more visually stimulating playground environments.

IPEMA, the non-profit International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association, notes that playgrounds have expanded to include a variety of spaces and materials often creating a magical and imaginative space for a broad range of people. Synthetic turf surfacing has become a popular option for commercial and residential playgrounds serving children, their parents and caregivers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Promoting recess: 
In January 2013, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement about the importance of a safe and well-supervised recess for its cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits. The Goddard School of Urbana, Maryland, who cares deeply about how their kids spent time outdoors, couldnt agree more. While they tried to use natural grass in their 4,000 square foot activity area, it couldnt hold up to the active use of up to 200 pairs of feet five days a week. So they turned to STI distributor Albanes Landscaping, Inc.,(http://www.syntheticgrass-greens.com) to install durable, beautiful synthetic turf that stays green throughout the year. Now rain or shine, recess rarely gets cancelled and children enjoy congregating, jumping and playing on the surface with their peers.

Creating safer playground surfaces: 
Fountain City United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee was having numerous problems with their poured-in-place rubber and wood mulch playground surfacing. The rubber, hardened and even cracked and coming apart in some areas, became a maintenance nightmare while the patches applied were not sustainable or safe. Wood mulch several inches deep surrounding the rubber contained bugs and was dirty, particularly when it rained. They asked STI distributor PLAYRITE, LLC (http://www.playrite.com) to create a safer, more aesthetically pleasing playground solution. PLAYRITE removed all of the wood mulch, covering the area and the poured-in-place rubber with playground rubber mulch instead. Then synthetic turf was installed over the rubber mulch with sand and crumb rubber infill to provide added safety and cushioning for the children, creating a uniform playground surface. As is the case with all STI SoftLawn® Playground recreation surfaces, the playground now exceeds national safety standards, is fully ADA/ABA compliant and consistent with all U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission requirements.

As a certified playground safety inspector, I can honestly tell you that synthetic turf playgrounds have the safest, cleanest, and best-looking surfaces available, noted Kyle Kaplan of PLAYRITE. In my opinion, synthetic turf will be the standard for playground surfacing in a few short years.

Steve Strachan of Central Coast Playgrounds, an STI distributor in Santa Barbara, California, concurs. More people have been switching to synthetic turf for playgrounds because it increases the critical fall height of pour-in-play surfacing and a less abrasive surface, he said.

Increased interactivity and sensory development: 
With close to 50 locations, Children of America schools focuses on providing a stimulating and educational experience that promotes every child's social, emotional, physical and cognitive development from infancy through elementary school. They have partnered with STI distributor Synthetic Turf of Virginia (http://www.syntheticturfofva.com) on five renovation projects to ensure their playgrounds are state-of-the-art. Like the Children of America location in Prince William, Virginia, which previously had an outdated playground with a pour-in-place rubber surface and a slope that made 60% of the area unusable.

The challenge for us was to create a 100% usable playground area that was safe, unique and promoted a high level of interactivity, explained Ray Francis of Synthetic Turf of Virginia. His team filled in the slope with foam rubber and created a synthetic turf surface that allowed for various types of activities including a mini-soccer field, golf course, basketball and volleyball court complete with hopscotch that was woven into the design. A water park feature proved to be the main attraction, since the safety and permeability of synthetic turf allows children to play without worrying about falling or water puddling throughout the area. Today the area promotes greater interaction and play while stimulating childhood motor and sensory development.

Synthetic Turf International helps more kids play outdoors and inside by creating commercial and residential play area surfaces that focus on the safety of children, environmental impacts of the materials used and cost containment. The company continually enhances its Commercial Playground configuration complete with fall zones, exceptional HIC ratings with all components being recyclable and lead-free. Like most antimicrobial systems, the companys playground systems do not support stain or odor causing bacteria, mold, or mildew. Plus facility owners and parents alike never again have to worry about exposure or contact with harsh chemicals found in the pesticides and fertilizers used to treat regular grass. To learn more, visit http://www.synthetic-turf.com.

About Synthetic Turf International: 
Based in Dalton, Georgia, Synthetic Turf International (http://www.synthetic-turf.com) focuses on helping people experience a greener world in places where natural grass doesnt easily grow. 
With its outstanding network of 70 dealers, the company is recognized as the leading manufacturer and installer of the highest quality synthetic turf in the industry. Their synthetic turf products are currently in use at thousands of playgrounds, landscape projects, golf courses and indoor sport facilities throughout North America. 
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Synthetic Turf Innovations, located in Columbus, is an Ohio dealer of Synthetic Turf International, and your local source for the finest quality in artificial turf products. 

Artificial grass offers options during drought

Published: Saturday, Mar. 15, 2014 - 12:00 am

No mowing and saves water, too? Synthetic turf indeed sounds like the perfect lawn for parched landscapes.

Recent technological innovations make today’s fake grass look better than the real thing. Dogs like it. Neighbors can’t tell the difference. And in the grips of prolonged drought, a no-water green space has its appeal.

But artificial turf may not be for every home – especially if the owner plans to sell any time soon. Some cities, including Sacramento, still prohibit its use for front yard landscaping.

Sacramento’s city code specifically says “no artificial turf,” says Jessica Hess of the city’s utilities department. But that restriction generally is enforced only if there’s a complaint.

California’s prolonged drought has many cities and people looking twice at synthetic lawns and reconsidering such bans. Some cities, such as Roseville, suggest synthetic turf as part of its grass replacement initiatives.

“It is amazing that a healthy grass lawn typically requires 55 gallons of water per square foot per year,” said Brian McGibbon of Fields of Green. “That is 44,000 gallons of water per year for a 800-square-foot lawn. Our products can last 15 to 20 years. That means a new 800-square-foot waterless lawn (can) save 660,000 gallons of over 15 years. Multiply that by just 50,000 homes in Sacramento and that is 33 billion gallons of water saved.”

Elsewhere around the state, water districts and cities are considering rebates or other incentives for synthetic lawns. Artificial grass usually costs $8 to $13 per square foot installed. Most synthetic lawns last 10 to 15 years before they need renovation.

“There’s no better way to immediately reduce water consumption than by installing synthetic turf,” said Dominic Nappi, CEO of Back Nine Greens. “There’s simply no down side. You can help the water crisis and still have a beautiful lawn, putting green, pet area, kids play area, or any landscaping you desire.”

As the name implies, Back Nine Greens offers putting greens that never need water. Having a consistent and easy-care surface has become a synthetics’ selling point for golfers.

Sacramento radio host “Farmer” Fred Hoffman used synthetic turf to not only save water, but create a perfect putting green at his home in Herald. His wife, Jeanne, is an avid golfer.

“It is completely hassle-free,” Hoffman said of the putting green. “I clean off leaves or the nearby bark that blows onto the green with a broom or leaf blower. It still looks as good as the day we installed it (in 2011).

“We have found that during gatherings of friends and family, the putting green is more popular than the swimming pool, horseshoe pit or the bocce ball court,” he added.

Concerns over “hot feet” tempers some enthusiasm for synthetic turf.

“I love looking out onto the backyard and seeing this beautiful ‘lawn,’ ” said Pamela Maier of east Sacramento. “My only complaint is in the summer. Because the yard gets direct sunlight during the day, the product does get hot and walking on it barefoot is uncomfortable.”

But the benefits of low maintenance and no water outweigh that issue, she added. “I believe strongly that Californians must get serious about changing water usage in our landscapes. This summer will be very telling. Will we choose drinking water over green lawns?”

Concerned about hot feet, Maril O’Shaughnessy, who lives in South Land Park, tested several samples during triple-digit temperatures before picking one for her backyard during a recent renovation.

“After leaving the samples out on a 100-plus degree day for about 15 minutes, I found that ‘Cool Grass’ (from New Grass) was the only one I could stand on in bare feet,” she said. “So far, I am thrilled with my artificial grass. Going out to the backyard during summer, fall or winter, now feels like entering another room. It’s almost like having carpet.”

In some ways, artificial turf is like carpet; it’s woven from fibers.

“Today, there is much more variety and better pricing,” said McGibbon, who also serves on the Synthetic Turf Council task force to create guidelines for artificial turf. “Innovations in the last four years have led to new yarn shapes that are more durable and more resilient to foot traffic. Also, a variety of tan thatches and different face yarns give makers the flexibility to replicate different types of grass better.”

Jennifer Khal has a patch of artificial lawn installed at her garden store and nursery, the Secret Garden in Elk Grove.

“I watch customer after customer bend over to touch our turf to make sure it’s not real,” Khal said. “Not only does it look real, but it looks healthy. It’s the kind of grass you wish yours looked like; no crabgrass, no urine spots, no mud. And when it’s installed properly, as recommended, it feels great to walk on, too – soft, springy, just like a healthy lawn should.”

Khal encourages customers to think of artificial grass like carpet; it comes in many grades and installation is important. The turf itself may cost $2 to $5 a square foot, but proper installation adds $6 to $7 per square foot to that price.

Most people first see synthetic turf on football fields. As its evolved, artificial grass has gained popularity for all sorts of play areas, for people or pets.

Synthetic lawn has particular appeal to people with dogs. No more yellow spots, but what about urine and other waste? New turf systems feature antimicrobial underlayers as part of their backing. Sublayers ensure proper drainage.

“We have two golden retrievers that love to play ball, but we did not have an area suitable as depending on the weather it was either a dust bowl or mud pit,” said Sacramento’s Michelle Bernstein, who installed EPS Premium Turf from Change of Seasons.

“Honestly, this is the best thing we have ever done,” she added. “The dogs love it, and no more tracking in copious amounts of dirt. We love it because it looks so nice and we look brilliant because of the water restrictions. This is a large area that no longer needs water.”

Kathy Dunn of Citrus Heights used artificial turf to create “my little piece of heaven” – and keep her flock happy, too.

“Since I have 21 geese and they were swimming around in a mud hole, I decided to have a pond created for them,” she said. She added a gazebo and a strip of artificial turf.

“It’s gone through a winter of hardly any rain, lots of frost, and lots of goose poop,” she said. “It washes off beautifully and I can’t say enough about how nice it is not to have to water it or mow it. It just sits there, looking beautiful.”

Andrea Grenier of Roseville used synthetic lawn to solve another landscape problem: a difficult slope.

“Dragging a lawn mower up and down a steep set of steps was not going to be fun,” Grenier said. “And yet I still wanted at least some lawn to provide a transition between the concrete patio slab and the terraced walls (in her backyard).”

Grenier opted for Turf Tech grass with thin blades of slightly varied height. The result looks like lush groomed grass year round – without the lawn mower.

“Even my husband has become a believer!” she said. “The neighbors think it looks great from their vantage point, too.”

A downside to artificial lawn: What do you do with it in 20 years when it needs to be replaced? When it’s spent, real grass breaks down into the soil; fake grass goes to the landfill.

Synthetic turf also can have an unintended impact – on possible resale of the home.

According to real estate agents, artificial grass carries a stigma. It’s different. Buyers wonder: If the lawn isn’t real, what else is fake?

Broker Elizabeth Weintraub of Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento shares this recent example:

“I have a seller in West Sacramento who put in a putting green in their backyard,” she said. “They compacted the soil and laid (artificial) turf. As a result, they had an extremely difficult time selling their home because home buyers want grass, a real lawn. They ended up taking their home off the market.”

Weintraub advised them to tear out the artificial turf before relisting.

“Bare dirt was better than fake grass,” she said. “Sure enough, it sold over list price … in one day.

“I do not advise (synthetic turf) because sellers who put in a fake lawn can be the difference between selling and not selling,” Weintraub said. “Buyers are very picky in this real estate market. Even though we have very little inventory, buyers want they want, which is conformity.”


Call The Bee’s Debbie Arrington, (916) 321-1075. Follow her on Twitter @debarrington.

• Read more articles by Debbie Arrington

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Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/15/6235760/faking-it-artificial-grass-offers.html#storylink=cpy

News & Issues

Synthetic turf innovations help improve the golfing experience

14 Oct, 2011By: Rick Doyle, Synthetic Turf CouncilAthletic Turf News

From serious golfers looking to fine-tune their scoring skills to players experiencing the game for the first time, a growing number of people are using synthetic grass to improve their golfing experience. During the past year, Synthetic Turf Council members have unveiled creative installations and innovations that have changed the way golf is played on courses and at home.

While synthetic turf is typically identified with athletic fields or landscaping, golf applications are a
rapidly expanding sector of our industry. Traditional golf courses and backyard greens have been
incorporating synthetic grass to create an attractive, environmentally-friendly solution.

Enhancing golf courses
Although many golf courses are recognized for their spectacular landscapes, concerns have been raised about the amount of water needed to keep venues green. A June 2008 National Public Radio story called “Water-Thirsty Golf Courses Need to Go Green” reported “Audubon International estimates that the average American golf course uses 312,000 gallons of water per day. In a place like Palm Springs, where 57 golf courses challenge the desert, each course eats up a million gallons a day. That is, each course each day in Palm Springs consumes as much water as an American family of four uses in four years.”

As Andy White of Challenger Industries explains, “more golf facilities are turning to synthetic tee lines
to save water and create relief for natural grass that can’t sustain daily play.” He cites the example of Signal Mountain Golf & Country Club in Tennessee, whose switch to synthetic grass tee lines has made the driving range more usable for all players.

Synthetic grass has also been used to improve the aesthetics of high-use areas. Pebble Beach Golf Links in Monterey County, California, host of five U.S. Open Championships, is considered to be one
of the greatest public golf courses in America. When the worn car path behind the 18th hole needed
to be modified prior to the mid-August start of 2011 Classic Car Week, they turned to Synthetic Turf International to match ground colors and install synthetic grass in the area, reducing maintenance needs in the process.

Installing backyard golf facilities
Any golfer will improve his or her game with practice. Now a growing number of enthusiasts are installing synthetic grass greens in their back yards to increase practice time without leaving the comfort of home.

“While most homes will buy a 1,000- to 1,500-ft. green, we are now installing 50 to 60 full-blown par 3s a year with proper tee boxes,” notes Henry van Antwerp of Synthetic Turf International, which has
installed about 4,500 backyard golf facilities. “This trend represents how serious golfers will customize their ultimate practice experience in the future.”

TurfDIRECT in Scottsdale, AZ, recently helped a client turn non-usable areas of his back yard into
an entertainment complex for the whole family. They built a complete par 3 course, with a 72-yd. 
approach shot from the tee box. Adding lush synthetic grass to the desertscape has also allowed the
family to enjoy activities like volleyball and bocce ball.

Making golf accessible
Synthetic grass installations and innovations are making golf accessible for more people. Last year,
Heavenly Greens completed a 12,000 sq ft installation for the Golf Learning Center at Visitacion Valley
Middle School in San Francisco. The first of its kind nationwide, the Learning Center was purposely built in one of San Francisco’s most under-served communities to help bring golf to inner city youth as part of the First Tee Program of San Francisco. Based in San Jose, CA, Heavenly Greens calculated that as of 2010, its synthetic turf golf and landscape installations have conserved 1 billion gallons of water in Northern California.

UltraBaseSystems of St. Petersburg, FL, works with Adventure Golf Services to convert under-
utilized tennis courts into golf facilities. Take Fort Sill, OK, for example. The military base wanted
to create more recreation opportunities for on-site military and their families. Within a day or so,
they were able to convert unused tennis courts into a golf practice and teaching facility that can
accommodate 20 people at once instead of just four tennis players.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Synthetic Turf Installed in North America Conserves More Than Three Billion Gallons of Water.

Synthetic Turf Installed in North America Conserves More Than Three Billion Gallons of Water, Eliminates Nearly a Billion Pounds of Pesticides and Fertilizers and Has Recycled Over 105 Million Tires

Numerous Eco-friendly benefits of artificial grass empower users to reduce our carbon footprint

ATLANTA, Feb. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- While millions of people, businesses, schools and homeowners use synthetic turf for landscape and play, one of its major beneficiaries is the environment. As of 2011, the estimated total amount of synthetic turf installed in North America annually conserves more than three billion gallons of water, significantly reduces smog emissions and eliminates close to a billion pounds of harmful fertilizers and pesticides. The industry has also recycled more than 105 million used tires.

"Synthetic turf has made a very positive impact on the environment," said Rick Doyle, President of the Synthetic Turf Council. "The synthetic turf industry continues to innovate to enhance synthetic turf's numerous eco-friendly benefits that empower users to reduce their carbon footprint."

Significant Environmental Impact

  • Conserves over three billion gallons of water. Water is one of our most precious resources. More than 6,000 synthetic turf fields are currently being used in the United States, with each full-sized field saving between 500,000 to 1,000,000 gallons plus of water each year. During 2010, that meant at least three billion gallons of water, and perhaps as much as six billion or more, was saved through the use of synthetic turf fields.  

  • Eliminates the need to water lawns. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over one-third of residential water is used for lawn irrigation nationwide, totaling more than 4 billion gallons of water a day. The Southern Nevada Water Authority also estimates that every square foot of grass replaced with synthetic turf saves an additional 55 gallons of water per year.  Therefore, an average lawn of 1,800 square feet will save 99,000 gallons of water a year if landscaped with synthetic turf – about 70% of a homeowner's water bill, or up to $500.

  • Eradicates the use of almost a billion pounds of pesticides and fertilizers. The EPA has identified runoff of toxic pesticides and fertilizers as a principal cause of water pollution.  In Florida alone, the EPA estimates that about 1,000 miles of rivers and streams, 350,000 acres of lakes and 900 square miles of estuaries are impaired by runoff of pesticides and fertilizers. Synthetic turf eliminates the need for nearly a billion pounds of harmful pesticides, fertilizers, fungicides and herbicides which are used to maintain grass.

  • Keeps more than 105 million used tires out of landfills. Most of the synthetic turf sports fields and landscape applications in use incorporate crumb rubber infill recycled from used tires, keeping more than 105 million used tires out of landfills.

  • Depending on field usage, synthetic turf can lower consumption of energy, raw materials and solid waste generation. BASF Corporation performed an Eco-Efficiency Analysis measuring environmental and economical impacts of synthetic turf athletic fields with professionally installed and maintained grass alternatives.  According to BASF, among the major findings of the study was that the average life cycle costs over 20 years of a natural grass field are 15 percent higher than the synthetic turf alternatives, even when factoring in a replacement synthetic turf field during that time.  Released in November 2010, the life cycle assessment found that with typical field usage, synthetic turf had a lower consumption of energy, raw materials and solid waste generation than natural grass fields. BASF's eco-efficiency analysis is an award-winning and strategic tool, based on the ISO 14040 standard for lifecycle analysis, which quantifies the sustainability of products or processes.

  • Prevents smog and noxious emissions.  According to the EPA, lawn mowers are a significant source of pollution that impairs lung function, inhibits plant growth, and is a key ingredient of smog.  A gas-powered push mower emits as much hourly pollution as 11 cars, and a riding mower emits as much as 34 cars.  In addition, the EPA estimates that over 17 million gallons of gas and oil are spilled each year from refueling lawn equipment; that is more oil than was spilled by the Exxon Valdez.

  • Reduces grass clippings.  The EPA estimated in 2002 that 12% of what goes into landfills is yard waste.  During the summer months, clippings can account for nearly half of a community's waste.  Switching to synthetic turf reduces this significant source of environmental pollution.

Schools, parks, businesses, municipalities, homeowners, golf courses and others using synthetic turf can receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits for Water Efficient Landscaping, Stormwater Design, Recycled Content and Rapidly Renewable Materials from the U.S. Green Building Council.  Many synthetic turf companies have also created products that are 100% recyclable.  'Green' options also exist for recycling, reusing and disposing of infill and the synthetic turf itself. The industry is working hard to develop further eco-friendly end-of-life disposal solutions.

About the Synthetic Turf Council

Based in Atlanta, the Synthetic Turf Council was founded in 2003 to promote the industry and to assist buyers and end users with the selection, use and maintenance of synthetic turf systems in sports field, golf, municipal parks, airports, landscape and residential applications.  The organization is also a resource for current, credible, and independent research on the safety and environmental impact of synthetic turf.  Membership includes builders, landscape architects, testing labs, maintenance providers, manufacturers, suppliers, installation contractors, infill material suppliers and other specialty service companies.  For more information, visit www.syntheticturfcouncil.org.  

SOURCE Synthetic Turf Council

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