The Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) – the professional association for 2,600 men and women who manage sports fields worldwide, and who are critical to the safety of athletes and coaches – has recognized 18 facilities with the organization’s Environmental Facility Certification.
Ranging from Colorado to Madrid, Spain, the STMA members and their facilities showcase ecological stewardship and sustainable best practices. Since the first certification was awarded to Zach Holm for two facilities, Red Bull Training Facility and Red Bull Arena in 2016, 15 other STMA members now have their facilities environmentally certified.
“Our outstanding members are constantly looking for ways to improve their facilities,” says Kim Heck, CAE and CEO of STMA. “Through state-of-the-art procedures and practices, we encourage all sports turf managers to identify areas in which they can make their facilities more sustainable, to ensure we are taking care of the fields our athletes greatly depend on.”
To achieve the prestigious certification, the site must attain an 80% score within each section. Facilities will remain certified for a three-year period, at which point a recertification process takes place.
The complete list is included below:
Peter Ashe, University of North Carolina Greensboro Sports Turf Groundscare Center;
Nick Baker, CHS Field at the St Paul Saints Baseball Club;
Paul Burgess, Ciudad Real Madrid; Real Madrid Santiago Bernabeu Stadium;
John Cogdill, Pleasant View Sports Complex;
Joshua DeJong, Platte Valley Schools;
Ken Edwards, The Gulfport SportsPlex;
Edward Hall, Allen Pond Park, City of Bowie;
Israel Hinojosa, Minute Maid Park;
Zach Holm & Team, Red Bull Arena; Red Bull Training Facility;
Elliott Josephson, Prairie Ridge Sports Complex;
Jason Koester, Grinnell College Athletic Fields;
Abby McNeal, Ruby Hill Park;
Travis Stephen, Longfellow Park;
Scott Stevens, Elon University Sports Complex;
Bruce Suddeth, USC Upstate Soccer Complex;
Brian Winka, Chesterfield Valley Athletic Complex.
A facility’s field manager must complete an initial online assessment followed by an on-site walk-through validation with an attester. The assessment covers 10 environmental practice areas, including storm water management; fertilization; pesticides/integrated pest management (IPM); recycling; composting; mowing; energy conservation; shop buildings and storage areas; irrigation and water quality testing; and educational outreach.
STMA’s external focus on outreach for environmental stewardship began in 2010 with the appointment of an Environmental Task Group. By 2013, a general framework for the certification program was formed and, by 2014, the first pilot program was created.
Images (from top): Chesterfield Valley Athletic Complex, Longfellow Park, Red Bull Training Facility