Arts and Lifestyle

The new turf is made of coconuts?

Menlo renewed many facilities this summer, including the old turf. Photo courtesy of Tripp Robbins. 

By Kaitlyn Tom

Along with the new library and cafeteria, Menlo also replaced the 12-year-old turf with turf that is coconut-based rather than rubber-based.

Menlo worked with Colony Landscape, the company that is also landscaping the middle school Commons patio, to replace the turf. The budget for the new turf was funded by donations from Menlo parents Paula and Mike Rantz.

The operations department worked with Dean of Students Tony Lapolla to select the three top choices for the replacement turf.

“The turfs were selected for quality, [the] environmentally friendly aspect of the turf, [the] appeal to students, and budget,” Paul Gillick, the current Head of Operations who will be retiring August 31, said.

From there, students voted on the turf of their choice. The turf that was selected was the top voted turf amongst students.

The new turf is composed of a combination of organic coconut hulls and sand, allowing it to stay in place better than rubber-based turf. Because the turf is coconut-based, more maintenance is required to keep it in shape.

“Since the organic coconut decomposes and gets powdery, we will wet the turf down frequently and [...] we will add more coconut hull,” Gillick said. “We’ll see how it goes, but we anticipate adding more annually.”

With the turf on the quads replaced, the operations department’s next project is replacing the parking lot on the loop with the new coconut-based turf. With Gillick retiring, the project will be headed by the new Head of Operations, Loren Arms.

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