EasyTurf, a FieldTurf® company, has completed an 8,700-square-foot synthetic turf replacement project for the Moonlight Amphitheatre in the City of Vista (northern San Diego County). The project, valued at more than $100,000, is part of the city’s ongoing effort to conserve water, particularly during the historic drought in California.
Approximately 8,700 square feet of natural grass was removed in the theater’s main audience seating area, which features a combination of fixed row seats and open space for lawn chairs and picnicking. The company had a very tight installation window of only eight days to complete the entire process before the opening night of the theater company’s next production.
Moonlight’s previous natural grass lawn required considerable water and maintenance throughout the theater’s busy summer season, often including time-consuming hand-watering to combat brown spots and dying grass during some of the driest years on record. The new EasyTurf lawn stays green and perfectly manicured year-round while eliminating the need for irrigation and routine maintenance such as mowing, fertilizing, and aeration.
This is the second turf-replacement project that EasyTurf has completed for the City of Vista this year. In June, over 11,000 square feet of synthetic turf was installed at the Vista Sports Park as part of a soccer warm-up area. The existing natural grass was difficult to maintain due to weather conditions and constant activity. Synthetic turf is usable year-round and is specifically designed to withstand heavy foot traffic.
Water savings was the primary reason the city chose to replace the natural grass with synthetic turf, helping the city in its efforts to reduce water consumption by 24 percent as mandated by the State of California. Product durability, installation flexibility and ease of maintenance also factored into the decision. The city’s Public Works Department estimates the new turf will reduce water usage by 196,000 gallons per year.
The City of Vista has applied for a rebate through the San Diego County Water Authority and hopes to recoup a sizable portion of the grass-replacement costs. The WaterSmart Turf Replacement program offers eligible residents, businesses and public agencies $1.50 per square foot to replace natural turf with water-efficient landscaping options better suited to the county’s semi-arid climate.
"It's a great feeling to know that we've made a change to our venue that not only helps address the drought conditions, but at the same time enhances the patron experience," said Daniel Kays, managing director of the Moonlight Amphitheatre. "When we announced earlier that the City of Vista would have the synthetic turf installed, we received very positive feedback from our audiences. The synthetic turf not only reduces water use at our outdoor theatre, it has also uplifted the appearance of the venue and given the audience area a uniform, natural, green look."
Theater guests have responded favorably to the new turf, appreciating the city’s efforts to save water and the enhanced appearance, as well as the fact that the new turf is dry and comfortable to sit on for picnicking and doesn’t attract ants like traditional grass.
“EasyTurf is ideal for an installation like this, in which water savings also need to be balanced with the aesthetics, comfort and functionality of the space to maintain a high-quality guest experience,” said Steve Haber, CEO of EasyTurf.
EasyTurf has completed a wide variety of commercial installations in Southern California and nationwide, including projects for Disneyland and Disneyworld, SeaWorld, Legoland, San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, Humane Societies nationwide, and Cesar Millan's Dog Psychology Center.