Natural Grass Should Not Be Replaced by Turf

Dear Editor,

I was sad to hear that the UCSD recreation department has decided to tear out the grass at Muir Field and replace it with synthetic turf at the end of this upcoming summer. As a UCSD alumnus, I remember fondly spending time out on Muir Field: throwing Frisbees with friends, regularly walking a friend’s dog, eating lunch and just kicking back. While an undergrad, I also spent time as a counselor for the Knock Around Club, Recreation’s own kids’ summer day camp, where Muir Field played host to our daily lunches and afternoon games and activities.

To think of that wonderful, grassy field, which doubles as open park space, being replaced by tire crumb rubber and fake plastic blades is deeply upsetting and also makes me wonder what in the world the recreation department is thinking. Fake turf gets boiling hot in the summer, has no self-cleaning properties as real earth and grass do, has infill that is made up of chopped up bits of toxic automobile tire (simulating real dirt) and contributes to global warming. I know that the university prides itself on being a “green” campus but allowing toxic and off-gassing synthetic turf to replace a living, breathing, natural system is a joke. I encourage everyone who hasn’t spent time on Muir Field to go out and take a look and try and envision a field of plastic where there is now grass and worms and birds and dogs and dandelions and kids and students.

If Muir Field needs to be replaced with a better functioning field for athletic games, then put in some new grass and simply take care of it. That way, the athletes will be happy, the dogs will be happy, the birds and bees will be happy, the kids will be happy, I will be happy and the Earth will be happy.

For all who care about saving Muir Field, I suggest you contact the Director of Recreation Dave Koch ([email protected]) or the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Alan Houston ([email protected]).

Lauren Dockweiler

Alumna ’02