New guide available to validate environmental stewardship

For more than a year, SFMA has dedicated resources to developing Best Management Practices for the Sports Field Manager: A Professional Guide for Environmental Sports Field Management.

This project will be completed and ready for distribution this month. The guide is intended to provide a comprehensive compilation of environmental best practices utilized by sports field managers.

Sections within the guide are customizable by SFMA members and affiliated chapters to reflect their state or local government requirements. Chapter members are the most knowledgeable about their state’s approaching legislation to customize and then distribute the guide to appropriate legislators. SFMA will provide instructions on how to customize various sections and can provide names of knowledgeable consultants who can assist. The guide should be provided to legislative bodies to educate them – proactively now – and in response to impending legislation affecting sports field management. Often legislation is introduced that can negatively impact the ability of sports field managers to provide safe playing surfaces for their athletes. Those introducing the bills are not in our industry; thus, they are not well informed about the commitment of SFMA members to protecting the environment. Chapters and members can follow their state’s legislative activity at the National Conference of State Legislatures (bill information services) database and easily look up any legislation affecting the environment in their state. There is no charge to search this database.  

The guide is also relevant to the constituents served by sports field managers. Athletes, coaches, parents, community members and others will benefit from knowing the environmental stewardship practices that are in place at your facility.

The 100-plus-page guide provides detailed practices organized into the following sections: 

  • Planning, Design, and Construction 
  • Turfgrass Establishment
  • Cultural Practices: Mowing
  • Cultural Practices:  Nutrient Management
  • Cultural Practices:  Irrigation 
  • Cultural Practices:  Cultivation and Surface Management
  • Cultural Practices: Integrated Pest Management
  • Pesticide Management
  • Sustainable Landscaping
  • Synthetic Turf
  • Maintenance Operations 
  • Emergency Preparedness

The affiliated chapter, Mid-Atlantic SFMA (MASFMA), is the first chapter using the template to customize information for their four-state region. MASFMA has been working in tandem with SFMA to create its customized environmental practices guide that can be immediately used to educate state legislators.

This resource was developed by the BMP Task Group, led by consultant Stacey Kingsbury, Task Group Chair Vickie Wallace and staff liaison Kristen Althouse. The Task Group will be engaged throughout 2021 to address any questions that may surface. Task group members include: 

  • Matt Anderson CSFM 
  • Jason Bowers, CSFM
  • James Brosnan, Ph.D.
  • Joe Churchill 
  • Patrick Coakley, CSFM 
  • Larry DiVito
  • Jeremy Driscoll 
  • Jody Gill, CSFM
  • Michael Goatley, Ph.D.
  • Noel Harryman, CSFM 
  • Jason Henderson, Ph.D.
  • Zachary Holm, CSFM
  • Bryan Hopkins, Ph.D.
  • Jason Kruse, Ph.D.
  • Tony Leonard 
  • Nick McKenna, CSFM
  • Ben Polimer
  • Tim VanLoo, CSFM

The guide is free to SFMA members.  

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