Walker Park - No Walk in the Park

TRS Removes Synthetic Turf Field in Manhattan for NYC Parks
By: Adam Coleman | May 14, 2013

This job was tough. Luckily we knew what we were getting into before we got there.  Work in NYC is challenging in its own right - add on top of that a difficult field and some rigid specifications from the New York City Department of Park and Recreation (NYCDPR). Kudos to NYCDPR for being a synthetic turf pioneer. As a single entity, it owns more synthetic turf fields than anyone else in the world. They were a pioneer as an early adopter of synthetic turf fields. And these fields are a great fit for a Parks system serving over 8 million people. In such a crowded city space, even just elbow room at times, is at a premium. The Parks system and its synthetic turf fields are quite literally the elbow room, the backyard for many of its residents. Play on these fields happens 24-7, 365.

Walker Park is a pocket park in Manhattan - a 30,000sf oasis of synthetic turf for baseball games, rugby, soccer and football. Is handball your thing? You'll never see so many handball players as on the courts next to the field. This field was wore out and needed a new life in a big way. To continue their pioneering ways, NYCDPR required that 100% of the turf and infill be recycled. Keep in mind that the original synthetic turf field had natural clay slidezones - a common approach in early synthetic turf baseball fields. Over the past 12 years, this natural clay migrated considerably and made a mess of the field and infill complicating our synthetic turf removal job. Another unexpected twist... the contractor (Turco Golf Inc), due to schedule constraints, criss-crossed the field with utility trenches leaving the already asymmetrical field with many more small and-odd shaped areas.

Our crews made quick work of this field. Our track based equipment was ideal for the uneven terrain and its size made getting into tight spaces a breeze. The amount of natural clay in the infill made the extraction very dusty however the Rattlesnake design utilizes a spout topped supersack which cinches up to the auger exit and traps the dust. The machine also has the flexibility to process very small pieces - down to 12" in width and efficiently extract the infill.

As for the synthetic turf recycling - a truckload of rolled turf was sent to our recycling partner in Georgia where it will be chopped, melted and made into pellets that will be used as feedstock for new, molded plastic products. The infill was sent to our facility in Cincinnati. Our team worked hard to find creative reuse applications for every one of the 225,000lbs of reclaimed synthetic turf infill. In all, we diverted 250,000lbs of turf and infill from the landfill.

In addition to the synthetic turf reclamation we're proud that our sister division, USGreentech, will be supplying Envirofill for the new Walker Park field. Envirofill is a high-performance, acrylic coated, rounded sand and one of a few alternative infills approved for use in the NYCDPR synthetic turf fields. It’s an extremely durable infill that can withstand the constant use that this park will see. Fun fact: this will be the 13th field in an NYC Park installed with Envirofill.

Borrowing a line from Frank Sinatra… if we can make it there, we can make it anywhere!


Artificial turf removal and recycling from Turf Reclamation Solutions (TRS):

TRS is a leading national provider of artificial turf removal and recycling solutions designed to fill a growing need in the artificial turf industry. Our services include: Artificial Turf Removal with the VIPER Turf Slicer, WINDER Turf Roller, RATTLESNAKE Infill Separator and WRANGLER Powered Base Unit. TRS is unique in its ability to offer a complete solution from removal to recycling.