To: Marcus Autrey, LGHS Principal, Kevin Rogers, LGHS Assistant Principal, and Board of Trustees

Keep Natural Grass on Helm Field

Los Gatos students, alumni and locals were not adequately involved in the decision to approve artificial turf on Helm Field and all other sport fields. Grass on LGHS’s football field, Helm Field, should be reinstalled after renovations.

Why is this important?

Measure E was passed in June 2014, allocating $99 million to maintain and improve the LGSUHSD facilities [1]. Although the community voted to pass Measure E, LGHS students nor the community were given the opportunity to provide input on how to allot these funds.

The Los Gatos community has been underrepresented in the decision to replace the natural grass on Helm Field with artificial turf. Turf is harmful to the environment, unsanitary, and all around unpleasant to spend time on. It does not have the ability to self-sanitize, so bacteria from people’s blood, sweat and spit, as well as animal feces, sits stagnant, and contaminates the field. Temperatures on turf fields are much higher than that of the surrounding air [2], making turf an undesirable surface on which to exercise or play sports . Turf burns and open wounds are infected by the bacteria in the turf. Evidence indicates that cardiovascular damages are augmented from turf [3].

Concerns regarding natural grass are as follows.

1)Turf allows high frequency use of fields to accommodate the multitude of sports teams.
-What we are asking for is a compromise. Keep natural grass on Helm Field and convert all other fields to turf.

2)California is in a drought and water should be conserved.
-There are other ways to conserve water. Replacing plumbing fixtures with low flow toilets, water efficient faucets, low flow shower heads, and grey water systems can all contribute to water conservation.
Governor Brown is asking for a 25% decrease in water usage. It is achievable despite keeping natural grass on Helm Field; we will already be greatly reducing water consumption by converting all other fields to turf.

3)Maintaining natural grass on athletic fields is expensive.
-We suggest saving on utility bills by installing solar panels. There will be a maintenance cost savings even if not all athletic fields are converted to turf.