Award Winning Field

David Minner, Faculty, Horticulture Department

Situation:

In 2003 Cole Flick, Head Groundskeeper for Saints Field, Dassel, MN, contacted Dr. Dave Minner concerning the safety and playability of his Amateur League and High School baseball field.  Sports turf managers in Iowa and across the country contact ISU Extension to consult with Dr. Minner to solve their athletic field problems.  Many problems are related to limited resources in the face of increasing field activities.  Safe and attractive playing surfaces are a source of comfort and pride for players and the community.  Specifically, the Saints were having trouble with dying grass and an uneven field surface that made the field unsafe, causing reduced revenue from user groups.

Objective:

The objective was to identify important problems that are faced by a wide sector of the sports turf industry and to provide practical solutions that impact a large number of sports turf managers.

Activities/Output:

Dr. Minner responded by writing three separate question and answer articles in SportsTurf Magazine related to improving baseball fields.  SportTurf magazine has 25,055 readers and is the official publication of the Sport Turf Managers Association.  The response to Cole Flick was titled Plush Infield www.greenmediaonline.com/st/2003/0311%5Fst/0311qa.asp .  Dr. Minner prescribed an aggressive 7 step program that could be implemented by Mr. Flicks and booster club volunteers.  The total cost to implement the upgrade was a mere $300, well within there means.  

Impact/Outcomes:

The following email was sent by Mr. Flick.  In 2003 I wrote to you regarding infield topdressing/overseeding, and you responded with some great advice that has made significant changes in our baseball field.  Since 2003, our field has become one of the best playing surfaces in the state of Minnesota.  I have been notified that this October we will receive the Minnesota State High School League Coaches Association Field of The Year.  I want to thank you for your advice, and for the columns you write in SportTurf magazine.  I am a faithful reader of your column and use the magazine all the time.  Once again, Thank You.  Along with Mr. Flick 25,055 readers that have similar athletic field problems view Dr. Minners Q&A column 6 times per year for an annual contact of 150,000 Sports Turf Managers.   

September 2006

106 Green Industry (Commercial Horticulture and Forestry)

Page last updated: September 25, 2006
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu