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NEWS VOL. 1, NO. 3

FALL 2011

Fall Workshop Set for September 28 at City of Coon Rapids Soccer Complex On September 28, park and sports turf managers will congregate at the City of Coon Rapids Soccer Complex. A morning of education is planned along with afternoon equipment demonstrations. The Fall Workshop is always a great opportunity to network with peers. Individuals from the City of Coon Rapids will talk about the history of the Soccer Complex, information about the recent changes in the Public Works building and the cost and time savings in small engine repair. Dr. Brian Horgan from the University of Minnesota will talk about new research on sports turf fertilization rates and give an update on TROE Center. An Anoka Ramsey Community College representative will speak on employee relations within the workplace. After lunch, there will be ample opportunity to see and try out the latest in sports turf maintenance equipment at the soccer fields. Commercial members can support the Fall Workshop by purchasing a tabletop or by displaying equipment. Vendors will have an opportunity to meet with park and sports turf managers, in one spot, as they gather for a day of education and networking. The Fall Workshop is MPSTMA’s most well-attended event. More information is available at or by calling the MPSTMA office at 952-473-3722.

The September 28 Fall Workshop features education and the newest equipment from vendors.

MPSTMA Community Service Project Set For October 12 in Farmington Christian Life School in Farmington will be the site of the 2011 Community Service Project. This annual “good-feeling” day brings together sports turf managers and commercial vendors of the MPSTMA to revitalize a sports field. Christian Life School had about eight acres of land that was not being used. This Spring, they decided to take down roughly 500 trees and level the land. The school now has room for a baseball field, softball field and a soccer field. They have been growing grass this summer, the fencing is in place and now it is time to finish the project. That’s where MPSTMA enters the picture. Well-equipped with resources, the field will look spectacular when completed. Last year, Welander Field in the City of Grant benefitted from a CSP project. Over 35 participants and 25 vendors donated time and/or materials to the get the job done. Volunteers came from as far as Big Lake and Prior Lake - with equipment - to help. Some members participated before, during and well after the project date. If you would like to donate your time, product or services, contact the MPSTMA office or Mike McDonald at


“Educational Opportunities Abound”” STEVE GILBERTSON MPSTMA President OFFICERS PRESIDENT

Fall is just around the corner and things will start to slow down. The days are getting shorter, the grass growth has slowed down, the temperatures are cooling down, and the work load is slowing down (ok, 3 out of 4 ain't bad -- the work load doesn't slow down). With that being said, now is a good time to start thinking about your educational opportunities upcoming in the near future. The Minnesota Park and Sports Turf Managers Association (MPSTMA) and MTGF allied groups have some very good workshops, national convention, expos and networking events coming up in the near future. Regardless of which event or events you can attend, all of them have something to offer that will help you get through the balance of this season and the future. MPSTMA offers a Fall Workshop on September 28 that not only has educational speakers, but several commercial vendors deminstrating their products. A networking event at The Toro Company on October 11 will allow you talk and share experiences with others, while enjoying a courtesy lunch in a casual but very informational setting. You also should be starting to make plans for the 2012 Northern Green Expo, an event that is one of the best values for your dollar. Lastly, Sports Turf Managers Association’s national convention is slated for the second week of January in Long Beach, Calif. I mention the national convention because STMA has given MPSTMA one free registration, $450+ value, to be offered to a first time attendee (contact me for more information). This is a great way to find out what others are doing both locally and nationally. A chance to talk with your peers and find out what works and what doesn't . This could be the best education you get all season. You have an opportunity in the next few months to exchange ideas and information that will be benificial to both yourself and others. You have an opportunity to get this information for free by attending the free October 11 picnic. You can also spend a little money and attend the September 28 Fall Workshop, the 2012 MNLA/MTGF Northern Greeen Expo or plan an educational vacation in California in mid-January. Education is very important to being successful during these tough times. So, check out one or more of our upcoming events. Feel free to check out or contact me for more information. Lastly, the MPSTMA needs people to serve on its Board for the upcoming 2012 season. Offer your name or somebody else that you might think would be interested. Regards,


Mike Brunelle (612) 817-5396 E-mail:

11920 Park Dr., Rogers, MN 55374

DAVE NOZAL Tree Trust 651-644-5800 VICE PRESIDENT

KEVIN FERNANDEZ White Bear Lake Area Schools #624 651-653-2736 TREASURER

LOWELL LUEBECK City of Plymouth 763-509-5946 TREASURER

ROGER WEINBRENNER CSFM University of St. Thomas 651-962-6546 PAST PRESIDENT



JEFF HINTZ Northwestern College 651-631-5103


AMY HOWARD City of Woodbury 651-714-3721 SCOTT MELLING Par Aide Products Company 651-429-4513

Steve Gilbertson

Landscaping of Rogers, Inc.



Steve Gilbertson

Town & Country

STEVE GILBERTSON City of Lino Lakes 612-599-8017

Athletic Field • Construction • Re-Construction • Maintenance

• Sodding • • • •

Seeding Over Seeding Laser Leveling Grading


Golf Course

• Tee Construction • Re-Construction

• Spraying • Aeration • Fertilizing • Detailing • Consulting Here Today, Lawn Tomorrow!



PAUL GRIFFIN City of Woodbury 651-714-3720 MTGF REPRESENTATIVE


JEFF TURTINEN 952-473-3722

Performance and Economic Potential Of Low-Input Turfgrass Species By KARI HUGIE GraduateResearchAssistant DepartmentofHorticulturalScience,UniversityofMinnesota Professionals in the turfgrass industry are constantly looking for ways to cost-effectively reduce the environmental impacts of management practices. One potential strategy to reduce maintenance inputs is through the use of alternative turfgrass species. Several species have shown the potential to perform better than Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass in the North Central Region under low maintenance conditions. We are evaluating the overall performance and pest resistance of the following four alternative species under low-input conditions: Colonial bentgrass; hard fescue; tufted hairgrass, and prairie junegrass. The trial was established in the fall of 2009 at two locations, the Turfgrass Research Outreach and Education Center in St. Paul and at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska. The sites receive no supplemental irrigation or pesticide applications, and there are three fertility treatments and three mowing regimes within the trial. Data collection will continue through the fall of 2011, but hard fescue has been the top performer over the two year period maintaining the highest quality throughout the growing season at both sites. Colonial bentgrass provided acceptable quality when mowed at 1.25 in. and when not affected by disease, specifically brown patch and snow mold. Disease development also significantly hindered the performance of tufted hairgrass. With improved heat tolerance and resistance to crown rust, tufted hairgrass may provide a quality stand with minimal inputs. The native populations of prairie junegrass also did not perform well, which can mainly be attributed to a lack of germplasm improvement work in this species. The one non-native entry of prairie junegrass, the cultivar 'Barkoel', provided an acceptable stand throughout the growing season, exhibiting good drought and heat tolerance. Alternative, low-input species must not only provide adequate quality to be a successful pest management strategy, but they must also be economically feasible. Currently, alternative species are not as abundant or readily available on the market, and this lack of availability is most apparent in the residential turfgrass market. There is a substantial group of environmentally conscious consumers, and consequently there may be a niche market for low-input turfgrasses. To investigate the economic potential of low-input grasses, a survey was conducted at the Turfgrass Research Outreach and Education Center in St. Paul, in which homeowners were asked to make a purchasing decision in several turfgrass choice scenarios. There were two choices in each scenario which varied in certain factors such as price, aesthetic characteristics (color, texture, weed encroachment), maintenance requirements (irrigation, mowing, and fertility requirements), and origin (U.S. native, non-native). From the information collected, we were able to determine price premiums that consumers were willing to pay for several low-input attributes, identify the relative importance consumers place on both aesthetic and maintenance attributes, and also to identify potential market segments. Irrigation requirement and mowing requirement had the strongest influence on consumer choice, but weed encroachment also significantly affected consumer behavior. Participants were willing to pay relatively high price premiums for reduced irrigation requirements, reduced mowing requirements, and lack of weed encroachment. Overall, the results suggest that there is significant consumer demand for low-input turfgrasses and, with the proper marketing strategy, their introduction to the market could be a viable strategy for reducing residential maintenance

inputs. Hard fescue in particular, which is relatively slow growing, drought tolerant, and shade tolerant in comparison to Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass, could meet this demand. The use of alternative species as a strategy to reduce maintenance inputs and environmental impacts should not be limited to residential sites. Hard fescue and fine fescues, in general, would be well suited for many low maintenance sites in Minnesota. Colonial bentgrass, tufted hairgrass, and prairie junegrass all exhibit certain adaptations to low-input conditions, and with additional germplasm improvement they could be utilized in specific low maintenance sites. (Editor’


Raising the Nets at TCF Bank Stadium By JOE CHURCHILL Reinders,Inc. A day in the life of a grounds crew member at TCF Bank Stadium: hanging out on the sidelines playing catch with the waterboy, right?? Not hardly! Saturday's Gopher game against Ohio State, last October 30, was a night game scheduled that way to accommodate the Big Ten Network. Although it wasn't bitterly cold that evening, it was cold enough to require Mike McDonald and his crew to put in a little extra work. As a member of the honorary grounds crew that evening, admittedly I had no idea what to expect. It wasn't until after the last sideline heater and auxiliary bleacher were put away sometime short of midnight did I realize the amount of coordination and work that goes on behind the scene at Gopher football home games at "The Bank." It's been a long time since I've worked that hard! Kickoff was scheduled for 7:00 p.m. In order to have the field set up and fully equipped to accommodate both teams, we began our prep work at 2:00 p.m. under sunny skies on a beautiful fall afternoon. By the time I arrived most crew members were already busy pulling out propane heaters, benches and other necessities. These were stored under the seating area in the bowl end of the stadium. The heaters themselves weighed about as much as a nicely equipped Pinto wagon adorned with large caster wheels allowing them to move freely on the Field Turf. Several player benches were then carried out to the sidelines,


some longer than others. These, by the way, did NOT have caster wheels. Carrying these from under the bowl end seats across the field and to the opposite sidelines was no small task. I think I did a pretty good job of concealing my exhaustion after several trips across the field. To the excitement of us marching band nerds, the Ohio State Marching Band accompanied their team this particular weekend. It required that we set up an additional 100+ additional seats to accommodate them. Several sections of bleachers, again on wheels, were pushed into place in the opposite end of the stadium from where they were stored. Once the field was "accessorized," it was time to mark the field. Pylons, goalpost cushions and first-down stakes and markers were put into place. By now it was approaching late afternoon. With shadows creeping across the plastic rug, it became a bit cooler as the sun disappeared behind the press box. It was at this point that I knew I made the right decision in wearing my flannel-lined jeans. One bit of sideline business remained. Mike and I jumped into a couple of utility vehicles and headed out the large service door at the stadium's bowl end to transfer several large propane tanks from a supplier's truck into ours. These would be used to power the heated player benches. The high level of security within TCF Bank Stadium was no better illustrated than when we both patiently waited outside the stadium prior to re-entering while one of Minneapolis' finest escorted a forensic-sniffing dog around our vehicles. Time well spent as the Ohio State Marching Band, in all its glory, marched by us on the way into the stadium. Those guys never smile. . . . . The pre-game set up work was mostly complete by 5:00 pm, two hours before kickoff, as the stands began to fill. This allowed Travis Stephen (my companion honorary groundskeeper) and I to roam the field under the big lights to take it all in. Along with about another 3,000 security workers, boosters and volunteers, we were fed a hearty pasta meal prior to game-time, just another perk for being a game-day worker. Once fed, we found our way back onto the field. Final preparation of the field included carefully walking the field looking for any litter, debris or wayward fibers of "carpet." Mike wants to make sure the field looks its best in front of Big Ten Network viewers. He also gave us a quick demonstration on how the end zone nets go up and down prior to and after extra points and field goal attempts. And let me say from experience, it's not as easy as it looks on TV! Thank you, Mike, for being so patient with me and for being there when I needed you! The pre-game pomp included an armed-services color guard and very cool pyrotechnics as the Gopher players ran out on to the field directly in front of us. As I turned and looked at Mike in utter amazement, his only response was, "This isn't any mom and pop show, you know!" And how right he was! Once the game began it was back to business. We split into two groups, each standing ready with the nets at each end zone. At halftime, we traded sides. While manning the nets at the bowl end we found ourselves standing right next to the Minnesota Football Marching Band. Did I mention that I love marching bands. . . . .? (ContinuedonPage5)

Raising the Nets at The Bank(ContinuedfromPage4) Both marching bands performed at halftime, again with much pomp and circumstance, precision choreography, great music and more fireworks and special effects. At times I almost forgot there was a football game in progress. Final Score: Ohio State 52, Minnesota 10. Although our boys in maroon and gold were on the receiving end of a major buttkicking, it really didn't matter. Travis and I were having a blast. Once the field was void of bodies, it was time to get back to work. Remember all those heated benches, propane tanks, benches and auxiliary bleaches? Well, they don't find their own way back into storage. Fortunately, they go back in a lot quicker than they go out. It was close to midnight after a final and thorough inspection of the field picking up scraps of litter and fibers. After a quick post-game debriefing in the maintenance offices and some smart-talk it was already closing in on midnight. As I look back on the night, a few things rise above the total experience: • Walking the sidelines before the game taking in "The Bank" with all her grandeur and glory. • Standing at the main entrance into the stadium as the players ran in under a spectacular display of fireworks and special effects. • Seeing those big guys close up. Yikes! • Enjoying both bands perform and watching the legendary "dotting of the I" as the OSU band spelled out Ohio on the field.

Matt Grosjean, TCF Bank Stadium sports turf manager, debating whether to take out the band members or wait a bit to prep the field.

• And finally, watching a true maestro orchestrate his crew before, during and after "the big game." Mike, you're a skilled professional who, without a doubt, has a passion for what he does. I can see it in your eyes, my friend. My head hit the pillow around 1:00 a.m. and I had absolutely no problem falling asleep. Sunday was a day of nursing sore muscles, popping Advil and reliving one of the most defining moments of my professional career. Thanks to sports turf professionals Mike McDonald, CSFM; Josh Graham; Matt Grosjean; Andy Johnson and my fellow honorary "gofer," Travis Stephen, for making the night of October 30, 2010 a night that I will not soon forget. Mac, I'll take the first night game of the Jerry Kill Era. I'll hone on my net working skills in the meantime.



MPSTMA NEWS AND NOTES MPSTMA Tours Green Roofs and Sports Fields The Tour-on-Wheels took place on Wednesday, August 3. Members met at Midway Stadium in St. Paul at 7 a.m. The loaded bus headed for the University of Minnesota to learn about "green" roofs. The bus moved on to Blaine High School where host Tom Redmann, from Anoka School District, gave a history of the fields and how they maintain them. A catered lunch was served. After lunch, the group went to St. Anthony to look at Palm Field -- the 2010 Turfco Field of the Year. Host Jon Hummel talked about the field, current maintenance issues and showed the group the rest of the grounds. The last stop was at Hamline University. Host Ken Dehkes gave a talk about the history of the grounds at Hamline and showed how tenacity is working on one of the fields.



Are you interested in participating on the MPSTMA Board of Directors? Do you know of a good candidate? If you’ve answered yes to either of these questions, please call the MPSTMA office or any Board Member so the name will get on an election ballot. Voting takes place prior to the MPSTMA Annual Meeting at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, January 5 and results will be announced at the Annual Meeting.

The TURFCO / MPSTMA Field of the Year entry form is available at The entry form must include at least five color photos of field, maintenance procedures and a brief description of the field. The field must be located in Minnesota. A complete list of requirements is available at Entries must be received by the MPSTMA office by October 15, 2011 to be considered.





The Fall Workshop features educational talks in the morning and then there will be an opportunity to see and try out the latest in sports turf maintenance equipment at the Coon Rapids Soccer Complex and also time to talk to company representatives and Certified Sports Turf Managers about the use of this equipment, with training on the specific maintenance practices from the experts from MPSTMA.

A MPSMTA Network Picnic is set for Tuesday, October 11 at The Toro Company in Bloomington. Network picnics are free of charge and take place between 11 am - 2 pm. Lunch and beverages will be served. This past year, previous MPSTMA network events were held at Carvers Lake Park in Woodbury, Town & Country Fence in Brooklyn Park and Bryant Lake Park in Eden Prairie.

Christian Life School in Farmington, MN, will be the site of this year’s MPSTMA Community Service Project. This event is set for Wednesday, October 12, 2011. Farmington is about 30 minutes south of the Twin Cities. To be successful, equipment, supplies and manual labor are needed for the day. If you are interested, contact Mike McDonald at the University of Minnesota at

217-D Minnetonka Ave. S. Wayzata, MN 55391


A publication for park and sports turf managment.


A publication for park and sports turf managment.