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From trash to treasure

From trash to treasure

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    Above: The first phase of this plan will develop 25 acres, including two tournament-size multi-purpose fields, a baseball/Softball field, a practice area, access road, and a parking lot. Facing page: American Civil Constructors covered the landfill cap with a linear low-density polyethylene liner topped by aggregate to drain off any stormwater soaking through the fields and the common areas. Photos: American Civil Constructors

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    Right: Concrete anchors were used to keep the synthetic turf in place. Below: This shows workers packing down the asphalt in the parking area, The parking blocks are made from recycled rubber.

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    Right: This storm drain at the perimeter of the project drains into the offsite detention pond system, which holds water drained from the site until it can be routed into the storm sewers.

“One of the unknowns is how the ultraviolet rays at our high altitude will affect the turf, but we're expecting a life cycle between 10 to 15 years,” said Woodcock.

“The Prestige System of rubber infill turf is relatively new technology with the ‘oldest' example dating back to 1998 in Paris,” said McGraw. “We warranty materials and installation for eight years.” Other Colorado communities and sports facilities in Vail, Boulder, and Edwards have installed the Prestige synthetic turf within the past two years.

South Suburban is so pleased with the synthetic turf; its officials would like to install more if funds permit. The district has made some other small installations, such as a playground at Goodson Recreation Center and replacement of sod in the goal area of fields at Cornerstone Park.

Another Colorado county and city are following the success of David A. Lorenz Park with keen interest. Jefferson County is currently sealing the closed Rooney Road Landfill with a geosynthetic liner and a clay cap. The city of Golden plans to lease the land and also develop athletic fields with the synthetic turf. The inter-governmental agreement defining who is responsible for what aspects is still in negotiation. Golden hopes ACC can begin construction in summer 2005 after most of the settlement from the methane extraction subsides. Until this happens, David A. Lorenz Regional Park holds the distinction of being the largest installation of Prestige System turf in North America at 250,000 square feet.

Carder is a freelance writer based in Denver.

Working with the neighbors

The closed landfill located in Douglas County is owned by Arapahoe County and managed by Waste Management, which, for the next 30 years, will monitor both the water table and the methane collection system it installed. The South Suburban Parks and Recreation District has leased the land from the county. Key agencies that approved the application include the Arapahoe County and Douglas County Planning and Engineering Departments, Colorado Department of Health & Environment, Tri-County Health Department, Douglas County Sheriff's Department, and Littleton Fire Department.

“Douglas County's philosophy is to take the lead in progressive and innovative solutions, such as this landfill conversion,” said Gretchen Armijo, Douglas County planner. “We worked with public districts, local governments, and private businesses to bring this together to provide much-needed recreational fields in an area with a large population and severe pressure on existing parks.”

Douglas County addressed the neighborhood's increased traffic concerns by installing a traffic signal and turn lanes at the intersection on Colorado Boulevard. To widen the access road, South Suburban negotiated easements with two private property owners at the park entrance. Because the landfill cap cannot be penetrated for light poles, no electricity has been installed. The resulting operating hours from dawn to dusk overcame concerns from area residents over lights and nighttime noise.