Artificial turf fields now being explored for ALL 5 LGUSD schools! District seeks community input at March community meetings in prep for April board decision.

March 2, 2022 News Flash

Fisher, Lex, and Blossom Hill community members, were you feeling comfortably in the clear?  

Were you under the impression only Van Meter and Daves Avenue elementary school communities were at any real risk of an artificial turf field?

Time to engage in the cause.

Artificial turf fields are now being explored for ALL FIVE LGUSD schools:
  • Fisher Middle School
  • Blossom Hill Elementary
  • Lexington Elementary
  • Daves Avenue Elementary
  • Louise Van Meter Elementary

While there is not sufficient funding to install artificial turf fields at all 5 sites at the moment, it is unclear which of the 5 existing natural grass fields are at highest risk of being killed off in this first round of renovations. The district will use this present exploration process to inform its current and future priorities. 


When will a decision be made and by whom?

At the 4/21/2022 LGUSD board meeting, the trustees will be presented with some version of the collected input and asked to make a decision about which fields, if any, get artificial turf in round one.  


But YOU have a say.  At least in theory.

Don't miss your chance to give input!  The district has rolled out the welcome mat for you...

Oh?  What's that?  You missed the 3/2/22 announcement?  Perhaps that's because the announcement said NOTHING about artificial turf.  🤷

Maybe it should have said something like "In March/April 2022, the administration and LGUSD Facilities Committee will be hosting input sessions for each school community to gather YOUR input on whether your school should have an artificial turf field or a natural grass field."

Here is the slide presentation that will be presented at the input sessions.  

Be aware that the slide presentation content favors artificial turf.  It fails to fairly represent the truly compelling case for natural grass fields.  So please do not accept the presentation content at face value.  Please attend your school's meeting prepared to ask questions and prepared to respectfully share your perspectives and concerns.

After the community meetings, the district will email a survey to all families and the staff of each school in order to gather feedback.


A simple way to help the cause...

Recognize the district survey will be given to many community members that have not been to this website, have not browsed the Facebook group, and have not been otherwise presented with the compelling case for natural grass fields.  Please help widely share the Change.org petition with the community.  The detailed body of the petition and its many citations can help inform those otherwise tempted to weigh in prematurely.


What those supporting artificial turf and those on the fence may not realize...

In the age of misinformation, direct and indirect messaging from industries that benefit from the proliferation of artificial turf have succeeded in turning this decision, for some, into one that favors industry or is, at minimum, filled with doubt and confusion.  Victims include some of our well-intentioned friends, neighbors, town staff, school staff, designers, facilities and parks directors, elected school boards, elected town/city councils, i.e. the bulk of the influencers regarding decisions to replace natural grass fields in parks and schools with artificial turf throughout the state. Please help educate.

There are still well-intentioned community members that would be surprised to learn artificial turf...

  • is plastic!  virgin (not recycled) plastic! 40,000 pounds of it per field!  being plastic, is a product of fossil-fuel derivatives!  wears out under the heavy use and requires replacement with new plastic every 8-10 years!  isn't recycled by facilities anywhere in our country!  primarily ends up in landfills!  degrades into microplastics!
  • costs MORE than natural grass!  a million dollars more per field at install alone!
  • will lock the district into funding costly replacements every 8-10 years!   
  • requires non-negligible maintenance given heavy daily use!    
  • requires water for cleaning given heavy daily use!
  • gets much hotter than natural grass because of the plastic!  (yes, even when tire crumb infill is not used)!
  • is under current scrutiny for recent findings linking it to contaminating water with highly persistent toxic chemicals!  chemicals the Environmental Protection Agency is actively, urgently considering taking stronger actions on!  
  • is NOT recommended as a drought response by Santa Clara Valley Water District or academics from University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources!
  • is bad news for climate!

There are still well-intentioned community members that think the district is unable to properly maintain natural grass fields.  They may not realize that...

  • the district has candidly stated it has intentionally skimped on field maintenance for many years as a cost-saving measure.
  • if the district chooses natural grass, the district would plan to perform proper maintenance.
  • if the district chooses natural grass, the fields and irrigation will still undergo complete renovation.  
  • with modern management practices, natural grass athletic fields can sustain high use and meet our community's usage needs.
  • there are drought-tolerant turfgrasses that could significantly reduce field water needs.

When are the community meetings?

Below are the community meeting times with links to the meeting announcements:

(Note that the meeting times in the district's slides are inaccurate and incomplete.  The most accurate source of meeting times and locations may be your site's most recent Wednesday newsletter.  The info below was gleaned from the 3/2/22 newsletters.) 

Fisher

  • March 15 @ 5:30-6:30pm online
  • March 16 @ 5:30-6:30pm in Fisher library

Blossom Hill:

  • March 17 @ 3pm online
  • March 23 @ 8:30am online
Lexington:
  • March 9 @ 8:40am online
  • March 17 @ 3pm online

Van Meter:

  • No link available.  An up-to-date newsletter has not been published on the school's or HSC's website.  Van Meter is the only school where the 3/2/22 newsletter is, at time of this writing, only available by searching through your email.  
  • March 9 @ 3:30 online
  • April 6, 2022 @ 3:30 online

Daves:
  • March 18 @ 9am, location not yet published
  • March 30 @ 3pm, location not yet published


Cover page of the slide presentation LGUSD will bring to March/April community meetings.
Use of this suggestive imagery is called greenwashing even if the intent was not to mislead.
While bees, ladybugs, and flowers may grace living fields, they will not thrive near the plastic fields the district is exploring.