The proposed installation of two artificial turf fields at the Algonquin Regional High School (ARHS) is not in the best interest of the community as described below:
- Injury rates. A May 2022 systematic review of 53 published articles published American Journal of Sports Medicine indicates that lower extremity injury rates are higher with artificial turf than with natural grass. This study is far from alone in determining that artificial turf results in higher rates injury rates.
- Cost of the artificial turf. Any truly independent analysis (not by the turf industry consultants) indicates that long-term costs of installation and future replacements for artificial turf significantly outweighs grass field costs.
- Climate change. The installation of artificial fields will have a large carbon footprint due to the replacement of carbon absorbing grass with artificial surfaces; the manufacturing, transportation and installation; and the need to continually replace artificial turf. Artificial turf fields also create heat islands negatively impacting players in warm weather.
- Artificial turf will eventually degrade and microplastics, and possibly other chemicals will be released to the surrounding environment.
- Player satisfaction. The NFL players union advocates for natural grass over artificial turf. After advocating for games on natural grass, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team won the right to play future games on grass. For the 2026 World Cup, FIFA will not allow play on artificial turf. If artificial turf is unacceptable to the NFL Players Union and the US National Women’s Soccer Team then artificial turf is unacceptable for Northboro and Southboro athletes.
- The detection of PFAS in soil at ARHS may increase costs associated with management of soils associated with the proposed installation.
I support rehabilitation of the existing athletic complex at ARHS without artificial turf.
George E. Campbell