With opponents still expressing their concern about turf despite the district’s approval, Inside Chappaqua invited Dr. Susan Rubin, an environmentally focused health professional and educator to comment. She and her family have lived in Chappaqua for over 20 years. Here she poses questions she feels have been inadequately answered:
It seems to me that investing in an unnatural playing surface is a mistake both financially and environmentally.
When it comes to money, how will our community pay for the replacement and upkeep of this turf in the future such as lawsuits related to turf injuries. Will this turf will be putting a tax on future generations who will have to pay to dispose of the material and replace it with something else, no doubt the “latest technology” of turf?
In the future, will a landfill accept the used turf materials? At what cost?
In ten years, if there is not a group of parents who want their kids to play on artificial turf at all costs, who will bear the brunt of the future financial burden? Town tax payers?
At a time when our school district and town and so many of us are facing tough economic circumstances in an economy that shows no signs of letting up in the near or distant future, wouldn’t $2 million dollars be put to better use?
On a science level, this offers a great learning experience for Greeley students in real life decision making. Would it be possible for the science classes at Greeley to look at the environmental impact of the entire project? Any number of still unanswered questions could be explored, such as the following:
How much carbon will be emitted into the atmosphere by this artificial surface? How many trees could be planted to offset the carbon sink caused by removing that grass? How much CO2 does the natural grass field sequester over a 10-year period? What are the long term consequences for ground water contamination?
And by the way, has the turf committee done such research? Or were they so enthusiastic to get this rubber in the ground that they glossed over the due diligence needed?
Has the New Castle Town Sustainability Board weighed in on this project? What conclusions have they come up with? Have they been involved in this project to date?
-Dr. Susan Rubin