Turf 4 Calvert
Turf 4 Calvert
To the members of the Calvert County Board of Education and the County Commissioners:
For years the many youth sports organizations and public-school athletes have had to deal with substandard field conditions in the county parks and its public schools. We’ve grown tired of games being cancelled in our local parks because field conditions were too poor, maintenance wasn’t done on fields, or there simply isn’t enough grounds crews to maintain all the fields during or after rains. We’ve watched as our athletic directors, teachers, and coaches in the public-schools struggle to make their fields barely playable week after week. They do this not as part of their job but because of their commitment to their student athletes. We’ve listened as other fans, coaches, and players complained about the field conditions in Calvert County. We’ve grown tired of the numerous injuries that continue to occur on Calvert County fields because of poor field conditions. We the citizens and parents of Calvert County also watched as the surrounding counties all made the move to turf fields in their parks and schools. To put it plain and simple, we’re tired and we demand that our elected officials bring turf playing fields to Calvert County Public Schools and Parks.
Many would argue that turf fields are a luxury and there are other things our tax dollars should be spent on but that just isn’t the case. Turf fields, while they are costly up front, provide a much greater value over the long term. Maintenance of turf fields is much less than natural grass fields and the number of hours that can be scheduled on a turf field greatly exceeds that of natural grass. This makes the cost per hour of usage for turf fields much lower. This doesn’t even take into account the number of man hours saved by athletic directors and teachers who spend their valuable time trying to help with field maintenance. These hours of course can then be poured back into students and other critical job duties. The cost savings of maintaining turf fields versus grass fields over the long term can be turned back around into our education systems, schools, and teachers.
Let’s face it. The median income in Calvert County consistently ranks in the top 10-20 in the country year after year and its high time that the tax revenue generated by our economy go towards improving our public school and park athletic facilities and fields. Bear in mind that sports and athletics are just as crucial to our children as academics. For many playing youth and public-school sports, this is their only source of a healthy family. It is the only place where they may have the opportunity to learn valuable life skills that will translate into their future. For so many young kids, sports provide them with a safe space where they can be encouraged and challenged to grow not just as an athlete but as a person. None of this can be accomplished if games and practices are constantly being cancelled due to poor field conditions. It also bears pointing out that our public-school athletes are unable to compete on an even playing field with other counties due to poor field conditions at our schools. Take for instance Patuxent High School, they have won 15 SMAC titles and 22 Regional Titles while playing on probably the worst athletic field in the Tri-County area. Imagine if they had a field that didn’t limit their potential but instead enhanced their ability to compete.
The cost of these turf field projects could be shared by the county parks and recreation and the board of education as has been demonstrated recently in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. Bringing turf fields not just to our high schools but also our public parks will open up new revenue streams for our local communities. Our parks and recreation department could host tournaments in our local parks that don’t require the burden of massive overhead for care and maintenance of fields during such tournaments. These tournaments would also be a boon for local businesses, hotels, and restaurants.
We the citizens of Calvert County are tired of being last. We’re tired of seeing our sister counties enact change while our elected officials ignore our requests. We’re tired of seeing our tax dollars going places other than our youth, they are our future. We’re tired of asking and instead are demanding the change we want to see for our children. The time is now County Commissioners and Board of Education. Take the initiative and form a partnership that brings turf fields to Calvert County. Be the leaders we’ve elected you to be. Let’s make this happen for our children and our county!
A Voting Citizen of Calvert County