Turf battle heats up: An update on Roosevelt Park

Four years later, where is the project headed? By Colette Lauture A debate over the use of artificial turf has stalled the proposed redesign of Malden’s Roosevelt Park. The ongoing conversation is vast, covering everything from environmental concerns to sports teams wanting more playing time.  Since its inception nearly four years ago, the project has experienced support and pushback. Malden residents have voiced their apprehension and excitement alike for the field’s redesign, the back-and-forth causing confusion about its trajectory. Debbie Burke, Executive Director of the city’s Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development, said that the city is eager to complete the project. With hazardous soil removed, flood storage capacity would be set to improve, and the number of residents who will be able to play on the field will increase. Youth athletic groups, Salemwood School students, and the surrounding neighborhood would experience these benefits. “The project also responds to climate change by increasing stormwater capacity in a floodplain, increasing resiliency on the field and in the neighborhood…It also reduces water use and increases access […]


Is the Grass Really Greener?

By Joanne Elie On Monday, November 25, 2019, the City of Malden met with members of the Malden community and the Malden City Council to unveil the design of the Roosevelt Park Improvement Project at a public information meeting. Many in attendance expressed their apprehensions about turf. Kathleen Sullivan, a fifth-grade science teacher who attended the meeting, is one of many who is not for turf. “Removing natural grass is detrimental to our environment. Artificial turf raises surface temperatures and creates a heat island effect while grass cools the surface naturally through transpiration. Turf is counterproductive to the work we need to do as a society to combat the effects of climate change.” Megan Buczynski, principal engineer for Activitas, Inc. the landscape design company working on the project, responds to the heat effect turf may produce. “The organic infill we plan to use reduces the heat on the field vs the rubber that is more commonly used in other fields.” The Geo infill referred to is a material that is 100% environmentally friendly. Geo infill […]