Swelter In The Grass

The Daily News confirms what we suspected: The artificial turf installed at around 100 city parks — including Cadman Plaza Park — gets too bloody hot. Though they didn’t visit our local rubber grass, The Daily News did go to five turf-laden parks across the five boroughs and took the temperature of both the grass and the turf. They found that the turf can reach temperatures of over 160 degrees Fahrenheit on a mild day:

Over two mildly warm days last month, The News took surface temperature readings at five synthetic fields across the city accompanied by NYC Park Advocates, a group that has been critical of the fake grass.

At all five, temperatures at the synthetic fields soared roughly twice as high as at nearby natural grass ones, from a low of 144 degrees at the Greenbelt Recreation Center on Staten Island to a scorching 162 at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens.

“It’s sadistic that the city is installing a product which gets so hot and is actually expecting the public to play on it,” said NYC Park Advocates President Geoffrey Croft.

We here at BHB HQ found this out the hard way last year during an impromptu bocce match at Cadman Plaza. We are still waiting for the Daily News’ hard-hitting report on the remarkable bounciness of the new turf.

Of course, the Parks Department are aware of the issues, and are considering installing signs warning visitors:

“The temperatures can get very high during the heat of the day. But people are smart. They are not going to use a place that is uncomfortable to play on,” said Liam Kavanagh, first deputy parks commissioner.

Artificial Turf: Toxic, bouncy, and unusable on nice warm summer days.

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  • D

    It is still better to have artificial 160 degree turf then have dirt and not have it be usable. And don’t argue they should put in real grass because it wont be maintained and it will become a dustbowl.

  • Bart

    I agree with D. I’ve been on the turf field and in the afternoon it gets so hot that is smells like burning tires. Although I would love to have real grass, I seriously question the city’s ability to maintain it. So alas hot, smelly rubber it is.

  • Dorachild

    What stupidity! This is an accident waiting to happen.

    Just wait to someone slips or trips on the turf, gets burned, and then turns around and sues the city!

  • Bee Heights

    Dorachild – stop being so silly! Parks are dangerous! Why don’t we just close all the parks just in case someone slips or trips! Grow up.

  • DW

    You know, I wish the city could maintain a grass field.
    But they’re understaffed.
    No trust-funders or hedge funders who inhabit the Heights could get together and make up a Cadman Park Conservancy … so the city did what they could do with the money they have and the budget they have for maintenance.
    Better than dirt, rocks and glass shards.

  • Andrew Porter

    Once upon a time Cadman Plaza park had a grass infield and it was wonderful. Then, through lack of maintenance, the drain in the middle of the field got clogged, so whenever there was a big rainstorm the center became a foot-deep lake. Rather than fix the drain, some moron at the Parks Dept. dumped a truckload of sand on the site, so that grass wouldn’t grow there, and the place became a dust-bowl. Except when it rained: then it became a mud-bowl. Does anyone remember the hedge that encircled the central grassy area, which died through lack of maintenance, ultimately being torn down and not replaced; the bronze uprights and chains at the south of the greenery (near the flagpole) that were torn out by vandals in the 1980s and not replaced; the steps going down to the area east and west of the War Memorial that deteriorated into dangerous jagged shards of stone and were not maintained; the tree limbs that fell onto the pathways because the trees were not trimmed; etc.

    When things got too horrible, the place was renovated for a heck of a lot more than it would have cost to maintain it in the first place. But that’s the way the City works, alas.

  • BklynJace

    I sure miss the cool feeling of dirt and broken glass under my feet in the summer. And with a coating of dust, you don’t even need sunscreen!