|A synthetic turf field at Mason District Park in Annandale.|
The project is contingent upon the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors taking similar action with their FY 2013 carryover package in September. The fields would be shared by school physical education classes, athletic teams, and extracurricular activities along with community-based sports teams during non-school hours.
Currently no schools in Mason have turf fields, although Falls Church High School is getting one this fall. Turf is seen as an equity issue, as the schools that lack turf tend to serve larger proportions of disadvantaged students. In wealthier parts of the county, booster clubs have contributed turf fields.
“Synthetic fields increase the use capacity by an additional 62 percent of playable time,” the release says, because they don’t need to dry off after rain or snow. They also need less maintenance than regular fields.
There is a downside to synthetic fields, though: They are made of ground-up tires and contain toxic chemicals that can present health risks.