Stormin’ in on Turf at Native Foods

By Grace Olson 

This week, the Water Team not only continued the exceptional progress we have made on our first comprehensive stormwater policy draft, but also began analyzing our artificial turf survey results. As we are producing two newly drafted documents for our stakeholder, Tracy Dudman, we decided to cancel our weekly meeting with her for an additional group meeting at Native Foods so we could work on both of these topics.

At our first meeting, we made edits to our stormwater policy from the feedback Tracy gave us. Some key additions were: changing the LEED section to UC Policy on Green Buildings with additional subheadings, adding information on Campus MS4 Phase II Stormwater Permits, and making the policy section specific with a section on feasibility. As we continue to revise and improve our drafts, we hope that this mandated policy will be approved and implemented into the UCLA Sustainability policy so that stormwater and HVAC can be captured, and that the campus can save water.

Students recreating on the grass of Janss Hill. One common response in Question #7 was that changing the grass to artificial turf would make it too hot and uncomfortable to sit on because of the rubber.

Students recreating on the grass of Janss Hill. One common response in Question #7 was that changing the grass to artificial turf would make it too hot and uncomfortable to sit on because of the rubber.

At our second meeting, we each had great vegan meals at Native Foods and began analyzing the 366 responses from our artificial turf survey. We decided to write a similar report to our drought tolerant landscaping survey, which included the sections: Executive Summary, Introduction, Methodology, Results and Analysis, Recommendation, and Materials. After dividing up each component of the report, we analyzed the replies in “Question #7: If you do not like artificial turf, what are your reasons why?” since there were many different free response answers. We were very amused at some of the answers, and deeply impressed at the depth of others. One that was especially knowledgeable and passionate was “It’s not natural. We already live in a concrete jungle. The grass is one of the last natural things we have on this campus besides the trees. And I can’t relax or nap on a tree. Please don’t take the grass away.”

Overall, we found in our survey that some people strongly oppose artificial turf, and some are in favor of its campus implementation because it saves water. Furthermore, we identified grass medians and the Court of Sciences as the two specific locations that should be further researched for turf implementation. The next Water Team can research this, and we will send our report to the right campus department for their further research.

Photograph courtesy of Daily Bruin.