Hillsborough County is spending $5 million over the next four years to level the playing fields for local athletes. Thanks to funds allocated for the athletic improvement project from the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), 100 sports fields throughout the county will be resodded or replanted over the next four years, including the Valrico and North Brandon football fields.
“This will even the field conditions and the level of play for all athletic sites countywide,” said Greg Brown, Hillsborough County Parks Service Manager. “The fields throughout the area are in varying levels of disrepair and our plan is to get them all on equal footing.”
The county provided two main reasons for resodding the fields at this time.
“In addition to aesthetics, properly installed and maintained turf minimizes the risk of lower-leg injuries and provides a thicker cushion when a player falls,” said County Media Specialist Todd Pratt.
The 100 fields throughout the county are used by approximately 30,000 children and adults weekly to play baseball, soccer, football and other sports.
“The county has made a $1.5 million commitment for each of the next three years,” said Pratt. “This has allowed county staff to resod up to 40 fields a year with Celebration Bermuda, which is known for being able to withstand the heavy use typical of youth recreation fields.”
According to Pratt, these fields range from two-acre soccer, football and softball fields down to one acre for pony baseball. On average, the fields were developed 50 years ago and many of them are used every day.
“All Bermuda grass fields need some resodding every year, but our work in this project will mostly be fully replacing the turf surface on the fields,” said Todd. “The fields being recovered over the next two years were likely Bermuda grass in the past, but without a biweekly care regime, weeds soon take over.”
Other local fields being resodded in 2019 include Burnett Sports Complex, William Owen Pass, Larry Sanders Park, Pinecrest Baseball Field and Progress Village Football Field.
For more information, visit www.hcflgov.net.