By Ellen Lomonico
Armed with posters, turf samples, and clipboards, the ART Water Team kicked off the week with a survey about artificial turf on UCLA’s campus. We conducted the survey at Kerckhoff Patio on Tuesday and Wednesday, each day for a span of two hours. The majority of our data was gathered on paper surveys; subsequently, we are still waiting to observe our preliminary results. However, the general student opinion from survey-takers was in line with our predictions: artificial turf is a subject of strong debate.
Artificial turf appears to be a polarizing topic. Student responses ranged from vehement outrage and cries of “ewww plastic—it’s so fake!” while others lauded turf as an innovative water saver. One of our more opinionated subjects voiced his concern that the installation of artificial turf would decrease the aesthetic value of the campus and severely detract from UCLA’s reputation as a prestigious university.
Despite the strong but few voices in opposition, artificial turf is about to make a grand appearance at UCLA. The intramural field is going to be converted entirely to artificial turf; the Water Action Task Force estimates the start date for construction at December 2014, to be completed by May 2015 when UCLA will act as host to the world renowned Special Olympics. This event will be an amazing opportunity to highlight the strides taken by UCLA to become a more sustainable campus, particularly in regard to water conservation and management. The installation of artificial turf on the IM field will result in an average savings of 6,400,00 gallons of water per year.
Read more about the installation of artificial turf on UCLA's intramural field here.
On Thursday February 27th, the ART Water Team also participated in UCLA’s Water Task Force. Attendees represented a variety of interests at UCLA, from the medical center to student housing to engineering systems, reminding us that water saving is truly an interdisciplinary topic, and one of which the ART Water Team is proud to be a part.
Photograph courtesy of SofTurf Hawaii.