Foothill celebrating new soccer field
Sustainability and athletics is a winning combination at Foothill College.
Foothill will celebrate the completion of its new environmentally friendly soccer field at a home game on Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. The construction for an eco-friendly field began in January and was completed this summer.
The new field offers Foothill a sustainable approach to managing the field and is safe for athletes. Athletes will now play on an artificial turf surface made from cork instead of the former natural grass field, which required frequent watering and maintenance.
“The underlayment is considered by the turf industry as one of the best products in minimizing concussions,” said Mike Teijeiro, Foothill’s athletic director.
The playing surface is by FieldTurf, a company that supplies artificial turf to fields where MLS, NFL and NCAA teams play.
The new surface is the latest FieldTurf product and “plays more like natural grass,” said Simon Pennington, Dean of Fine Arts and Communication and Kinesiology and Athletics at Foothill. “Our athletes are playing on a high-quality field.”
He added the cork infill is natural and recyclable. It’s harvested from cork oak trees without harm every nine years.
Foothill’s soccer field is now FieldTurf CORE, a more realistic, textured, grass-like shape.
When the cork fill is replaced it does not go to a landfill, but decomposes over time Pennington said, adding it provides a cooler and non-toxic surface for players. He added the school did not opt for rubber fill as it can get very hot, leaving players feeling the heat, and if players trip or slide they may be injured.
“This will require less maintenance, saving the college money and water,” Pennington said. “It’s also safer for athletes as there is no danger of gopher holes.”
Pennington said the soccer teams at Foothill love the feeling of the new field and the quality of play will improve with the new, predictable playing surface.