Sports field specialists benefit from lessons learned at two educational events hosted by the largest family-owned U.S. landscape and irrigation supplier.
October 31, 2011, Phoenix, Ariz.—More than 400 sports turf managers and grounds maintenance professionals from throughout the U.S. recently attended two sports turf field days offered by Ewing Irrigation in Tacoma, Wash., and San Diego, Calif.
The events, which included a mini-expo and hands-on learning stations, focused on day-to-day operations, seasonal maintenance and new sports field construction and renovation.
On September 26, Ewing hosted its field day in Tacoma at Cheney Stadium, home of the Tacoma Rainiers. Ewing’s second field day was held in San Diego at Tony Gwynn Stadium, home of the San Diego State University Aztecs, on October 13.
The events were held in support of the Keep America Playing Tour™, a nationwide initiative to educate coaches, sports turf managers and volunteers on maintaining the safest, most playable sports fields possible.
Attendees learned best practices from industry experts and gained hands-on experience in turf maintenance and fertility, batter’s box and home plate construction, field painting, water efficiency and irrigation system management, soil science and seed selection for sports fields.
Participants of the Tacoma event also learned the ins and outs of game-day field preparation from Bob Christofferson, head groundskeeper for the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
San Diego attendees gained insight on dealing with turfgrass compaction first-hand from Steve Wightman, the National Football League (NFL) head groundskeeper for the San Diego Chargers, as well as game-day infield preparation from Luke Yoder, director of field and landscape maintenance for the San Diego Padres.
Tony Gwynn, a 19-year San Diego Padres veteran, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and coach of the San Diego State University Aztecs, answered questions and shared his perspective on sports turf management from his experience as both player and coach.
Teamwork plays an important role in a sports turf manager’s pursuit of optimal field performance, Coach Gwynn noted.
Ron Hostick, lead groundskeeper for San Diego State University, echoed Gwynn’s sentiments and discussed the importance of fostering partnerships to advance the profession, paying tribute to the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA).
The events were “an acknowledgement of the professionalism within the sports turf industry,” said Michael Tarantino, president of the STMA’s Southern California chapter. The educational lessons learned were ones sports turf managers for all levels of play can take back and apply to their sports fields, Tarantino said.
Ewing hosted its first Keep America Playing sports turf field day in 2009 at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz., spring training home of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox. In 2010, the company hosted its second KAP event at AirHog Stadium, home of the Grand Prairie AirHogs, a professional baseball team based in Grand Prairie, Texas.
“We’re thrilled with the quality of our program and the positive feedback we’ve received from attendees,” said Douglas York, president of Ewing. “Helping sports turf managers maintain safe, playable fields is important; we’ll continue providing the support, products and educational programs to help make their jobs easier.”
To view a photo gallery of the events, visit the Ewing Flickr Album.
About Ewing: A Premier Supplier and Quality Education Provider
Ewing is the largest family-owned supplier of landscape and water management products in the country. Ewing offers commercial and residential irrigation supplies, water management solutions, landscape and turf products, hardscape, landscape lighting, water features, erosion control, industry-leading seminars and more to professionals serving the landscaping, sports turf, golf, agricultural and industrial industries.