Artificial turf, artificial controversy

IN OUR OPINION, Bruce Mohl’s short piece “Artificial Preservation” tries to create artificial controversy.

Mohl finds fault with the fact that several communities are approving projects using last summer’s legislative amendments to the Community Preservation Act (CPA).  One of those amendments lifted the restriction on the use of CPA funds to rehabilitate outdoor recreational facilities, but prohibited the acquisition of artificial turf for athletic fields with CPA funds.

Instead, Mohl should be praising state legislators for listening to and responding to community needs.  The changes to CPA were common sense amendments, long sought by communities across the state, both large and small, and supported by the majority of state legislators on both sides of the aisle. The recreation amendment made sense, both fiscally and from an environmental perspective; rehabilitating existing infrastructure costs less, conserves energy and preserves resources.

Legislators should also be praised for developing such a reasoned response to the often-debated issue of artificial turf.  When concerns were raised by citizens at committee hearings about the use of CPA funds for artificial turf, legislators found a way to honor those concerns.  The compromise allowed CPA funds to contribute to field rehabilitation projects, but only if communities found other funding sources for the acquisition of the artificial turf.  This legislative response to the issue of artificial turf ensured that the decision-making process regarding recreation projects remain where it should be – at the local level.

What’s so controversial about that?

Meet the Author
Stuart Saginor  is the executive director of the Community Preservation Coalition.