Small Field Day Yields Big Results!

It had been some time since a sportsturf field day was hosted by UBC but that all changed on Wednesday, June 13th.

Hosted by Gary Bartley of UBC Athletics and produced by the Western Canada Turfgrass Association, in partnership with UBC Athletics and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, about 35  sportsturf managers attended an informative session with Dr. Eric Lyons, Guelph Turfgrass Institute, ‘Overcoming High Sportsturf Demands and Wear & Tear’.  The afternoon also included a tour of the impressive Whitecaps practice facility at UBC, officially known as the National Soccer Development Centre.

UBC Athletics Grounds Manager Gary Bartley (left) with Dr. Eric Lyons

The purpose of Dr. Lyon’s visit was twofold.  In the morning, he met with a small group of sportsfield managers to consult with and further the Guelph Turfgrass Institute (GTI) project titled, ‘Economic Analysis of Natural and Synthetic Sportsfields’, a WCTA funded resource designed to create a comprehensive cost analysis tool for constructing and maintaining multitude types of synthetic fields and compare over time, those costs to the construction and maintenance of different types of natural grass fields. 

Dr. Eric Lyons hugging the turf at the Vancouver Whitecaps FC premium soccer field (it was that nice).  That's Krista Hewlett wondering what the heck he's up to!

In order to complete the tool, information from turf managers was required to ensure the most important cost variables were considered.  When complete, the calculator will aid in the decision making process for anyone undertaking construction of new facilities by providing a 30-year cost analysis encompassing construction, maintenance, renovations and disposal of materials.


Dr. Eric Lyons (left) chats up Whitecaps FC staffer, Arie Vanderreyden who helped coordinate our event.  Thanks Arie, we couldn't have done it without you!

Since the foremost turf researcher in Canada was going to be in the area anyway, it made sense to put together an open educational opportunity in the afternoon.  What started out as a small field day yielded big results for those in attendance and for the GTI cost calculator project.

Gerry Charlton from IPOS TurfSafe Risk Management System (left) gets the award for furtherest travelled to be here - Adelaide, Australia.  Meanwhile Krista Hewlett from UBC Athletics shows off the divot repair tool groundskeeper use on the Whitecaps premium field.

The tour moved over to the Thunderbirds synthetic baseball field.  Not real grass but still impressive!

Thank you everyone for attending, host Gary Barley and UBC staff including long-time WCTA member Krista Hewlett, the Vancouver Whitecap FC for hosting us, Dr. Eric Lyons for making the trip out west and our gracious event sponsors.

Our sponsors from left to right:  Nik Wall, Premier Pacific Seeds, George Vanderhoek, Prairie Coast Equipment, David Wall, Premier Pacific Seeds, Spencer Grundy, Evergro, Bill Hargrave, Cedar Crest Lands. Missing from photo Bob Curry, Covermaster.