Page 1

MPSTMA

NEWS VOL. 2, NO. 4

WINTER 2012

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE MINNESOTA PARK AND SPORTS TURF MANAGERS ASSOCIATION

MPSTMA Begins New Year at Green Expo; Annual Meeting Set for Jan. 10, 2013 time to read each candidate profile and vote online under the Board of Directors tab at www.mpstma.org or at the MPSTMA Annual Meeting on Jan. 10 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

As 2012 winds down, MPSTMA members can reflect on a successful year of events. The MPSTMA Spring Workshop at Northwestern College was well-attended because of a great group of speakers and Minnesota Golden Gopher football coach Jerry Kill, who keynoted the event. The Network Picnics at Town and Country Fence; JRK Seed and Turf Supply; The Westwood Hills Nature Center in St. Louis Park, and S&S Tree Specialists, were all well-attended, fun events. The MPSTMA Fall Workshop also was wellattended considering it was scheduled on a holiday week. (See wrap-up on Page 7.)

2013 MPSTMA SCHEDULE

Although the complete 2013 schedule is still a work in progress, we do have some event dates set. In February, MPSTMA members are invited to a free network picnic hosted by the Toro Company. The event will take place at its Shakopee branch. On March 27, the MPSTMA will hold its annual Spring Workshop at the University of St. Thomas. NATIONAL SPORTS CENTER WINS FIELD OF THE YEAR AWARD. Town and Country Fence (See Page 5) will once again host a netBOARD OF DIRECTORS work picnic in June. Member Representative, Nick Three Rivers Park District’s Dan By now, you should have received Germann, Northwestern College, verFriedges will host a network picnic at Board of Director’s candidate informasus Matt Grosjean, University of Bryant Lake Park on July 17. tion via email. Candidate profiles are Minnesota Athletic Fields. Please contact the MPSTMA office if available at www.mpstma.org. For Commercial Member you are interested in hosting a network Outgoing Board members include: Representative, Matt Cavanaugh, PBI picnic, May and August are presently Amy Howard, City of Woodbury; Gordon Corp; Al Hentges, Kromer Co., open. August may turn into a visit to Kevin Manley, JRK Seed and Turf and Mike Kelly, TerraMax, compete for the TROE Center at the University of Supply; Steve Gilbertson, Past one spot. Minnesota’s St. Paul campus where Dr. President, and Joe Churchill, Reinders, The Vice President race is between Brian Horgan and Eric Watkins will be Inc. Churchill is back on the ballot Jerry Jacobson, The Blake Schools, and available to discuss the current turf and running for MTGF Representative Ben Wallin, National Sports Center. grounds research being done at the against Gary Ringus, Property Props. If you haven’t already, please take University of Minnesota. Other races include, for General

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PRESIDENT’S PERSPECTIVE

“We’ve Made Great Strides in Becoming One” DAVID NOZAL

BOARD OF DIRECTORS OFFICERS PRESIDENT DAVID NOZAL Tree Trust daven@treetrust.com

MPSTMA President

Wow the year has flown by! I wanted to say thank you to the board and the committee members who help make this organization work. Your sound counsel, creative ideas, and service are greatly appreciated. The MPSTMA has made great strides in becoming one organization after our recent merger a few years ago. We’ve worked hard to step up the quality of our programming and our organizational operations and it shows. Our education programming has been well attended and the networking picnics have been fun and informative as usual. The newsletter continues to grow and is looking better than ever. I’d also like to thank our commercial members whose industry expertise and financial support help our organization. Your sponsorship of our education events, network picnics, and newsletter advertising is greatly appreciated. Your knowledge and the ability to educate us about the next great thing are also welcomed as we all try to do our jobs more efficiently. So to wrap this year up, thank you to all our members and those who’ve attended our education and networking programs. Your continued support, feedback, and service are what make this organization grow and thrive. I’d encourage anyone who’s remotely interested to step forward and take a more active role either on the board or served on one of our committees. You will find it to be fun, educational, and a chance to expand your professional horizons. As I step down as President, you will be left in the capable hands of Rick Beane, St. Louis Park – Parks. Rick has been a previous board member and has graciously answered the call when our previous Vice President resigned unexpectedly this fall. Rick will bring a blend of Parks and Sports Turf knowledge to the organization. I’d like to welcome Rick as our President for 2013! Regards,

David Nozal

VICE PRESIDENT RICK BEANE City of St. Louis Park rbeane@stlouispark.org TREASURER ROGER WEINBRENNER CSFM University of St. Thomas roger.weinbrenner@mpstma.org PAST PRESIDENT STEVE GILBERTSON City of Lino Lakes socassign@aol.com DIRECTORS GENERAL DIRECTOR AMY HOWARD City of Woodbury ahoward@ci.woodbury.mn.us GENERAL DIRECTOR LOWELL LUEBECK City of Plymouth lluebeck@ci.plymouth.mn.us COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR JON ALMQUIST The Toro Company jon.almquist@toro.com COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR JOE CHURCHILL Reinders Inc. jchurchill@reinders.com MTGF REPRESENTATIVE PAUL GRIFFIN City of Woodbury pgriffin@ci.woodbury.mn.us MTGF REPRESENTATIVE KEVIN MANLEY JRK Seed and Turf Supply kmanley@jrkseed.com EXECUTIVE SECRETARY JEFF TURTINEN MPSTMA Office: 952-473-3722 P. O. Box 617 Wayzata, MN 55391 jeff.turtinen@mpstma.org

David Nozal President, Minnesota Park and Sports Turf Managers Association

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WINTER 2012


Keeping It Clear By KEN ROST Frost Services It’s inevitable! Winter, that is. Regardless of whether or not you look forward to this time of year, this is when instincts and traditions take over our lives. We feel the urge to drain, wrap, cover and close up anything that needs it to survive the next few months. We assess the condition of our snow equipment and the pile of ice melt salt bags we have left over from last year. If we’re lucky, they haven’t gone solid like field stones. Traditions are great for family get-togethers and meals that help feed the bear inside us. But the practice of spreading salt for ice melt might be a tradition that needs to be pondered. We all want to keep our traffic areas safe to minimize accidents and falls and salt has been a traditional tool to help minimize the labor. But when it seems like salt isn’t getting the job done, our tendency is to add more. More is good, right? What if there is a better way? This question has sparked innovation and new methods have been developed in the business of keeping our traffic areas clear of snow and ice. These new products and methods will likely become new traditions very soon. When we have just one option, a decision is easy. That’s tradition. When we have many options, the decisions about what ice melt to use get complicated. In this article, we will summarize common ice melt options available today and the methods for using them that might deviate from tradition. Keep in mind that the process of melting snow and ice is an exercise in physics and chemistry. In a laboratory we can control variables and determine a temperature when a product ceases to melt ice. This is how phase change melting points are determined. However, in real world applications, many variables will alter the laboratory determined temperature. Moisture level, sunlight, air temp and surface temp are the main variables that affect melting temps. If we include these variables in our evaluation, we come up with an effective temperature. Effective temperature is simply a relative temperature determined through practical use of the product. We’ll use effective temperature to compare ice melt materials. Dry Salt (NaCl) – Effective Temperature = 150F Traditional salt is relatively inexpensive but it has a limited effective temperature. It is very corrosive and even within the category of ‘salt’ there are differences. Mined salt is taken from deposits left years ago during the formation of earth. It often contains other minerals and possibly inert materials that don’t help melt snow and ice. Solar salt is harvested from lake beds and other areas where salt water has been evaporated. Solar salt tends to be more pure NaCl and is more consistent in its effective melting temperature. Here’s a chemistry reminder, dry salt doesn’t melt anything. Only when salt goes into solution does it start to melt surrounding snow or ice. In order to get the process started, many salt products are ‘pre-wetted’ with a de-icing liquid. This method will speed up the melting process by about 20 minutes and usually lowers the effective temperature by 5-100F. Automatic pre-wetting systems are common on DOT trucks that apply dry salt. Dry Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) – Effective temperature = -150F The effective temperature of dry calcium chloride is much lower than traditional salt which makes it a better choice for the colder periods of winter.

WINTER 2012

Dry Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) – Effective temperature = -150F The effective temperature of dry calcium chloride is much lower than traditional salt which makes it a better choice for the colder periods of winter. The cost of calcium chloride is higher than salt but theoretically lower amounts can be used. Being a dry product, the rules about being effectiveness when dissolved in a liquid state apply to calcium chloride also. Liquid Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) - Effective temp = -200F Liquid Magnesium Chloride (MgCl2) – Effective temp = -100F Liquid chlorides are the most common liquids that are used to pre-wet salt as described above. They are also emerging as effective liquid products that can be directly applied to surfaces. They can both prevent snow and ice adhesion to pavement, and melt existing snow and ice. Liquid chlorides are corrosive and more expensive than salt on a volume basis, but their effective temperatures are substantially lower than salt. This means that small amounts of liquid chloride products can be used to achieve good results. Liquid chlorides are hygroscopic which means that they ‘collect’ moisture. Their molecules seek out water and bind with H2O molecules. The result is a liquid solution on the surface with a much lower freezing point. The benefit is that snow or ice won’t adhere to pavement. It creates a non-stick surface much like a coated frying pan. (Continued on Page 4)

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MPSTMA NEWS 3


Keep It Clear (Continued from Page 3) This is where a change in method comes in. Instead of plowing and spreading dry salt afterward to melt remaining snow, liquid chlorides can be applied before the snow fall. After plowing, the liquid chloride remains in the pavement and an application of salt will usually be unnecessary. Let’s use two sidewalks as a theoretical example of how liquid chlorides work. We’ll apply the liquid to one of the sidewalks about 6-8 hours before a 6” snowfall. The first thing we’ll notice is that there is 6” of snow on the untreated sidewalk and 5” on the treated sidewalk. The liquid chlorides will initially consume about 1” of the snowfall. Then let’s have heavy traffic on both sidewalks for a couple of hours. After the traffic we’ll get around to plowing. The untreated sidewalk will be difficult to clear and will undoubtedly have snow and ice bonded to the surface. The treated sidewalk will clear off easily and any remaining snow will be dissolved by residual chloride. If we spread dry salt on the untreated sidewalk, we may not get it cleared off for days depending on sunlight, air temp, etc. Pre-applying the liquid chloride bought us time so that we didn’t need to plow immediately after the snowfall or before the traffic to prevent adhesion to the pavement. Acetates (KAc) –Effective Temperature = -200F Acetates are a non-chloride type of liquid that have low effective temperatures and are non-corrosive. They are approved by

the FAA for airport runway de-icing and are commonly used on automated bridge de-icing systems. The cost of acetate liquids is substantially higher than chloride liquids because they cost more to produce. The methods for using acetates are the same as for liquid chlorides. Agricultural By-Products We often hear about agricultural by-products being used for de-icing and they are a popular topic because there is very little cost for the materials. Examples are by-products of sugar beet processing and whey from cheese making. They don’t have significant effective temperature benefits on their own and if applied directly they can have undesirable traits such as slipperiness or smell. They do provide some benefit to blends. For instance, adding sugar beet molasses in a salt brine blend can reduce the corrosive activity of the salt substantially. Blends Blends are a good way to balance the effective temperature of an ice melt product and cost. DOT’s, counties and municipalities will often create liquid salt brines and add liquid chlorides to customize a liquid for their area. Dry and liquid chloride blends are usually created by wholesalers and are sold under brand names. Blends can complicate the buying decision. Blends often have lower effective temperatures than their individual main ingredients due to chemical interactions within the blend. But if you pay attention to the main ingredients and knowing their effective temperatures you can usually make a reasonable choice. Sand

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Sand is a traditional tool and it is useful when temperatures are below the effective temperature of all the fore mentioned products. It is good for temporary traction on the surface of ice only. Sand needs to have some salt mixed in with it to prevent it from freezing solid. Before using sand, consider the fact that someone will need to clean it up in the spring and sand is very hard on interior floors when tracked into buildings. One more thing to consider when choosing an ice melt product is the impact on the surrounding environment. The MPCA has reported an increase in salinity levels of roadside soils and watershed areas around roads treated with salt during the winter. MNDOT aims to address this by adding liquid blends and pre-treatments to its strategy for minimizing dry salt use. A lot of dry salt gets bladed off directly onto surrounding turf. Liquid deicing products don’t get bladed off. Increased soil salinity can also be an issue for turf and ornamental areas adjacent to sidewalks and parking lots. It is often necessary to replace soils with high salinity before resuming turf growth. Knowing this, the ‘more is good’ argument doesn’t seem so smart. There comes a time when old traditions get broken and new ones are started. The best way for a new tradition to succeed is for there to be a cost benefit. Alternative de-icing products and methods described in this article have been proven to save money. The MPCA published a Winter Parking Lot and Sidewalk Maintenance Manual which includes some case studies where municipalities, schools and businesses utilized alternatives and saved money. The MPCA is also a good resource and reference for more information on this topic. Lastly, your association has affiliates that sell both the materials and the equipment to apply alternative de-icing products. Affiliates are a valuable resource for quality products as well as expert advice. Utilize them and enjoy winter!

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WINTER 2012


National Sports Center’s Stadium Field Wins 2012 MPSTMA / TURFCO Field of the Year The U-1 (stadium field) at the National Sports Center in Blaine, MN, is the 2012 recipient of the MPSTMA / TURFCO Field of the Year award. The NCS sports fields are cared for by Superintendent Curtiss Conkright, and Assistant Superintendent Ben Wallin. “We are proud of their field because of the “hard work and effort we put into it,” said Wallin. The stadium field, U1 as it is named, is just one of 50 soccer fields. “We take great pride in this field but, we can not devote all of our attention to one field. On a game night it is always ready to go. It is cut short, lines painted, goals in place and it looks great!” said Wallin. In July 2012, more than 17,000 people attended a concert for KTIS radio. The National Sports Center annually hosts the USA Cup, the largest international youth soccer tournament in America. This is a week long event and the stadium will have about 60 games played. “We have a concert on the field and an opening ceremony, a lot like the Olympics,” said Wallin.

WINTER 2012

The U-1 (Stadium Field) at the National Sports Center was awarded Field of the Year.

“We have high expectations for our field and we try to fulfill all of them with the best conditions possible,” added Conkright. Once again, we have a very deserving winner for our annual MPSTMA/TURFCO Field of the Year. Curtiss and Ben have the Stadium Field in great

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shape this summer, especially with the amount of play it gets throughout the summer,” said Greg Brodd, Turfco Manufacturing. Brodd will present the award on behalf of Turfco Mfg. at the MPSTMA Annual Meeting on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

MPSTMA NEWS 5


97 Members Attend MPSTMA Fall Workshop On September 5th, 97 members attended the 2012 MPSTMA Fall Workshop at the Jimmy Lee Rec Center/Dunning Field in St. Paul. 16 companies displayed their equipment and/or products and services on a nice, sunny fall day. Former major league baseball pitcher Jack Morris keynoted the event at lunch. He spoke of the days he grew up playing sports on the fields of St. Paul. He then fielded questions from the audience. Dr. Tim Vanini, a turfgrass scientist, was flown in from New York to talk about his research on the most up-to-date products and management strategies for sound environmental stewardship. Troy Carson, The Toro Co., gave an outdoor demonstration on the variability in surface hardness (Gmax readings) that can exist across an athletic field and showed a mobile platform that can quickly collect hundreds of Gmax values for an entire field. Dave Hanson, Park Maintenance Supervisor, City of Bloomington, addressed the relationship between the Park and Recreation Department and Park Maintenance in the City of Bloomington. Bill Johnson and Mike Dorsey from Flanagan Sales, Inc. talked about playground safety and the importance of resilient surfacing.

MATT CAVANAUGH, PBI Gordon Corporation, left, talks with MPSTMA members from the City of St. Paul at his tabletop display at the September 5 MPSTMA Fall Workshop at Dunning Field in St. Paul. Companies also displayed equipment outside on the field.

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Find the 4-Season Ventrac at: MPSTMA KEYNOTE SPEAKER JACK MORRIS, a former Major League Baseball pitcher who grew up in St. Paul, left, converses with Jeff Becker, Town & Country Fence, center, and MPSTMA Fall Workshop coordinator Mark Sullivan, TruGreen. Morris was the keynote speaker for the 2013 MPSTMA Fall Workshop on September 5.

6 MPSTMA NEWS

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WINTER 2012


SPEAKING OUTSIDE AT THE MPSTMA FALL WORKSHOP, TROY CARSON, The Toro Co. left, discussed the variability in surface hardness (Gmax readings) that can exist across an athletic field and showed a mobile platform that can quickly collect hundreds of Gmax values for an entire field.

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RICK GABLER, Superior Tech Products, preps things before the equipment display segment of the MPSTMA Fall Workshop at Dunning Field in St. Paul.

WINTER 2012

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MPSTMA NEWS 7


COURTESY OF THE MINNESOTA POLLUTION CONTROL AGENCY

Road Salt and Water Quality MPCA recommends a low-salt diet for Minnesota waters. Doctors tell us to stick to a low-salt diet. Our lakes and streams should follow the same advice. When winter comes and snow and ice build up on Minnesota roads, parking lots, and sidewalks, one of the most common reactions is to apply salt, which contains chloride, a water pollutant.

The more snow and ice you remove manually, the less salt you will have to use and the more effective it can be. Whether you use a shovel, snow blower, snow plow, or ice scraper, get out there as early as you can and keep up with the storm. You may decide that salt isn't needed. 15°F is Too Cold For Salt

Salt Pollutes When snow and ice melts, the salt goes with it, washing into our lakes, streams, wetlands, and groundwater. It takes only 1 teaspoon of road salt to permanently pollute 5 gallons of water. Once in the water, there is no way to remove the chloride, and at high concentrations, chloride can harm fish and plant life. Less is more when it comes to applying road salt. Follow These Simple Tips To Protect Our Water!

Most salts stop working at this temperature. Use sand instead for traction, but remember that sand does not melt ice. Slow Down Drive for the conditions and make sure to give plow drivers plenty of space to do their work. Be Patient

There are many ways to reduce salt use while maintaining high safety standards. Shovel

Just because you don't see salt on the road doesn't mean it hasn't been applied. These products take time to work. More Salt Does Not Mean More Melting Use less than four pounds of salt per 1,000 square feet (an average parking space is about 150 square feet). One pound of salt is approximately a heaping 12-ounce coffee mug. Consider purchasing a hand-held spreader to help you apply a consistent amount. Sweep Up Extra If salt or sand is visible on dry pavement it is no longer doing any work and will be washed away. Use this salt or sand somewhere else or throw it away. Know About the Salt Product Salts can range from simple table salt to calcium chloride. Salts are used because they are able to decrease the freezing point of water. Whatever product you chose, make sure you know at what temperature it stops working. (See Table 1)

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spray products

Melting Agent

Lowest pavement temperature at which product works

Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) ....................................... -20° F

Handy-Ice’r

Potassium Acetate (KAc) ....................................... -15° F Magnesium Chloride (MgCl2) ................................. -10° F ! "

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Frost

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8 MPSTMA NEWS

&

Sodium Chloride (NaCl) ......................................... 15° F Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA) .......................

$

&&&

! "# %

20° F

Blends: Check with manufacturer.

%

Sand: Never melts, provides traction only.

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WINTER 2012


Late Fall Tree Tips Courtesy of S&S Tree Specialists

Give Trees Some Space, Air Space

Keep Them Warm

Roots grow within airspace in soil. After years of lawn mowA three inch blanket of wood chips extending out 10 feet from ing your yard, trees have had their soil compacted. You can use a the base of the tree will provide a stable environment for your garden tine spade to loosen the soil softly by inserting it 5-6 inch- trees root system. It maintains moisture levels and reduces dryes into the soil and lifting or rocking the spade forward. This creing of the topsoil and it also greatly mitigates temperature ates air pockets and holes which extremes which often cause damage allow moisture in and let’s freezing to the root system. By providing this “If you can just do a few of these and thawing loosen the soil. This layer of insulation you will improve treatments on your trees they will grow stronger, will greatly help root development. the health and vigor of your valulast longer and provide you with Commercial tree and landscape able trees. years of payback in shade, wildlife companies also offer this service. habitat and visual beauty.” Review the Year Trim If your tree had a specific insect or disease problem in 2012, chances are it will be back in 2013. Deadwood (larger dead limbs) greatly reduces your trees Prevention is the key to a majority of tree issues. Contact a repenergy reserves. Now is the time when you can do a quick and easy assessment of your trees by simply walking under them and utable tree care company now to set up 2013 treatment. Being proactive will ensure that your trees are taken care of when the looking at the amount of dead wood in the crowns. If you see time is right, not when you notice damage. large branches over 2-3 inches, the tree will benefit from a prunIf you can just do a few of these treatments on your trees they ing. By giving them a winter deadwood trim you reduce hazards will grow stronger, last longer and provide you with years of and greatly increase the energy the tree has to heal itself. payback in shade, wildlife habitat and visual beauty.

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WINTER 2012

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MPSTMA NEWS 9


MAKE PLANS TO ATTEND THE MTGF SUPER TUESDAY ON JAN. 8, 2013

Learn About the Best Management Practices for Minnesota Invasive Insects and Disease from Top Entomologists The Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation’s (MTGF) Super Tuesday is set for Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The theme of the day will be based around the ‘Best Management Practices for Minnesota Invasive Insects and Diseases.’ This is a great opportunity to spend the day with a few of Minnesota and Wisconsin’s top entomologists as they discuss Japanese beetle, Emerald Ash Borer, Gypsy Moth and other current and emerging pests in the Upper Midwest. Speakers on hand will be: Chris Williamson, University of Wisconsin; Jeff Hahn, Michelle Grabowski and Chad Giblin,

University of Minnesota; Mark Abrahamson, Monika Chandler and Lucy Hunt, Minnesota Department of Agriculture; Shawn Bernick, Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancement, and Eric Nordlie, Bailey Nurseries. Park Supervisors, Sports Turf Managers, Arborists; Cemetery

Managers; Facility Managers; Garden Center Managers; Golf Course Superintendents; Landscape Architects; Designers and Maintenance Supervisors and Lawncare Operators should attend. Education credits have been submitted for approval for GCSAA CEUs, ISA CEUs, and MNLA CP. The event takes place from 8:00am – 3pm at the Minneapolis

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Convention Center. Cost is $65.00. Lunch is included. Gertens Wholesale, JRK Seed and Turf Supply, and McCarthy Well Company are three sponsors of the event. For the best information and its solutions…look no further than the annual Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation Super Tuesday event. To register and more information, go to

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www.mtgf.org. The mission of the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation is to promote the green industries in Minnesota through support of research, education and outreach at the University of Minnesota and elsewhere. For more information about the MTGF, go to www.mtgf.org or call 952-473-3722.

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WINTER 2012


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MPSTMA NEWS WINTER 2012  

A publication for park and sports turf managers.

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