The IM Field turf project was the result of a number of partnerships across the University including Facilities, Recreation and Housing. “The benefits were seen at so many different levels on campus that our partners in housing and facilities, knowing that we’d be saving [water] and knowing that we’d have a field that gives us twelve months of playability, worked together to support funding and planning the project,” said Rich Mylin, Director of Recreation Sports Venues at UCLA.
Because of the field’s central location on campus, UCLA Housing contributed to funding the project, acknowledging the importance of have a large open green space that reflected the values of water conservation, active lifestyles and sustainability. “Our view of sustainability is everything from being healthy, to making healthy choices, to recycling, to saving and managing resources accordingly, so there is a blend in how the University sees that an active lifestyle is a part of the sustainability practice that we try to emulate and teach here on campus,” said Mylin.
The project cost $4.5 million and took two years from beginning to completion. The LA Department of Water and Power provides a rebate for water conservation for which the university was able to quality. By doing this, the University earned a rebate of $697,604 for the project. While there is still maintenance associated with the AstroTurf field, the University of California Los Angeles expect the costs to decrease as compared to a sod field. “It’s the lack of fertilizer, no seeding, no sharpening the blade of a lawn mower, a lot of the expense you have of keeping grass alive is where we’ll see our largest amount of savings.
Water agencies report a surge in interest in turf replacement and conservation rebate programs this past summer as the drought continues and this was one of the major projects completed with the help of state issues rebate funds.