As warmer weather is drawing near, work is already well underway to make sure Suplizio Field is ready for the busy season that lies ahead.
In fall 2018, the infield of Suplizio Stadium was renovated, replacing the entire infield as well as a 10-foot transition arc into the outfield. The project, which was completed jointly by City of Grand Junction staff and GreenOne from Parker, CO, was more significant than it may first seem due to the conditions of the ground in the facility. The project, costing $89,950, was completed in an amazing 17 days, working around the schedule of a heavily utilized facility. The project was funded jointly by the Parks Improvement Advisory Board and the Parks and Recreation Department.
Suplizio Field opened in 1949 and typically hosts 125-150 games annually for the four local high schools, Colorado Mesa University, Junior College World Series (JUCO) and the Grand Junction Rockies. It is also host to multiple special events including fireworks, Challenger Baseball, and Special Olympics.
The last time the infield was renovated was in 1994. Over the 24 years since then the maintenance practices that are utilized on the field had slowly raised the elevation of the infield which led to the need for renovation. The elevation change is caused by a very high water table along with topdressing and over seeding a couple times a year. The skinned area of the infield has also seen elevation changes of as much as eight inches due to the addition of infield dirt and infield conditioner. When it rains on a game day, as much as 15 to 45 bags of infield conditioner may be added to dry the infield enough for play.
Maintaining the turf in the facility requires significant knowledge and effort. The infield and outfield consists of bluegrass, ryegrass and the undesirable poa annua bluegrass. Poa annua bluegrass, also known as annual bluegrass, is one of the most invasive weeds that can be found in turfgrass. It is difficult to control because the plant will produce several hundred seeds in one season, and the seeds can remain dormant for several years before sprouting. Poa annua bluegrass will typically die back in hot weather, which can make unsightly brown spots in the lawn during the height of summer. It also thrives during cool weather, when most lawn grasses are dying back, which means that it invades the lawn at these susceptible times. The poa annua bluegrass is very aggressive and often out competes the desired turf grass, so it requires focused and strategic attention from City Parks Facilities staff.
Despite these challenges, in 2009, Suplizio was selected as the Field of the Year by the Colorado Sports Turf Managers Association, recognizing the staff who work so hard to maintain this popular facility.
Contact: Sam Rainguet, Communications Manager 970-244-1507 or firstname.lastname@example.org