The City of Turlock recently installed the artificial turf into the new medians that were recently constructed on Christoffersen Parkway, extending from Geer Road to North Olive. The City opted to use the artificial turf, as opposed to traditional green grass, in efforts to save money on maintenance costs, as well as an opportunity to save water.
The decision was made partly to new efficiency laws and ordinances by the State of California that prohibit sprinkler heads being placed near curb edges, in efforts to decrease the amount of water lost to sidewalks, streets, pavement, etc. According to these changes, sprinklers must be placed centrally on the median, which would create the problem of grass located near the edges not receiving a sufficient amount of water coverage in order to stay green.
Federal Traffic Enhancement monies and Capital Facility Fees funded the project, and the City does anticipate having money set aside to replace the turf when necessary, as the artificial turf will eventually decompose and wear down over time.
“There are currently no other plans for artificial turf medians,” stated Director of Development Services Mike Pitcock. “All feedback to date (very little) is that people think it looks good. So far I have not heard anything negative.”
The City of Turlock may have not received much feedback but plenty of people are talking about the new artificial turf medians.
Although there has been a lot of positive feedback regarding the new medians, others have expressed that the money spent on the artificial turf was a “waste of money”.
“Turlock spends all of its allocated money on the nicer parts and spends no money on the older parts,” wrote community member Marie Bell. “Main Street is disgustingly dirty. All along the road is trash and weeds. Tons of cracks.”
Some individuals on the TurlockCityNews.com facebook expressed confusion regarding the funding, stating the money could have been used elsewhere, such as fixing roads, or even “paying teachers”. The Federal Traffic Enhancement monies and Capital Facility Fees that funded this project, however, could not be used for such endeavors, as most Federal funds and grants are restricted for specific purposes and projects.
Others also expressed concern regarding the artificial turf itself, rather than the cost and funding of the project.
Community member Sandie Sing writes, “It’s plastic and pretty. I hope they are not planning to glue fake trees and flowers next. I like REAL plants that will help the planet. I don’t think it’s green friendly.”
Others in favor of the project, however, expressed appreciation of the City’s effort to conserve money on maintenance costs, the conservation of water as a result of the artificial turf, as well as the aesthetically pleasing aspect of the new medians and trees along Christoffersen Parkway.
“I like it: 90% realistic for likely 50% of the cost, and with near-zero maintenance instead of plumbing sprinkler lines and a much higher lifetime cost to maintain live grass,” wrote community member Aaron Lewis. “Conserves money, conserves precious water resources, looks great… what’s not to like?”
While there are not currently other plans for additional artificial turf medians, the City will have 3 Traffic Enhancement grants in construction in the next few years that will install medians in Golden State Boulevard from Christoffersen to Tuolumne, with included traditional trees and shrubs as the current ones in place on Golden State Blvd.
City staff will be following the recommendations of the Landscape Architect that was hired to look at the cities major entrances and way finding signs.
“The Beautification Committee collaborated with the Landscape Architects to prepare conceptual designs,” reported Pitcock. “Since the conclusion of that process, we have been looking for funding opportunities through grants.”
To read more about the City of Turlock Beautification Master Plan, a tool to aid the City of Turlock’s efforts to enhance the City’s visual image and appearance, view the PDF here: