In the highly populated northeastern United States, managed grass covered surfaces (utility turf, lawns, parklands, sports fields, etc) collectively comprise an integral part of our communities. Turf management practices have broad implications for water resources, property values, energy consumption, greenhouse gas mitigation, safety of youth and adult sports participants, and the economic viability of businesses and communities. In addition, turf management materials present potential risks from human and non-target exposure. Professional turf managers in all segments of the turf industry are challenged to meet shifting customer demands while meeting safety and quality expectations and protecting the environment. The development, communication and adoption of best management practices are critical for maintaining the quantity and quality of open space, and can positively impact ecosystem integrity in Massachusetts.
The UMass Extension Sustainable Turf Management Project helps turf managers and other interested individuals, organizations and communities meet these challenges by providing research based information disseminated through a comprehensive array of workshops, courses, newsletters, websites, educational presentations, field days, and site consultations. These activities serve to convene state and regional partners to focus on building the skills and knowledge that are needed for sustainable development and maintenance of turf in the environment, while protecting human health and conserving water and other natural resources.