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2 million gallons of water saved for each grass field converted to turf at valley high schools

Liberty High School turf
Posted at 6:21 PM, Apr 25, 2023

HENDERSON (KTNV) — Saving water at valley high schools by converting more grass fields to turf, a new grant from The Bureau of Reclamation is making it possible.

However, this change could be impacting student-athletes with their fields being converted.

"It is definitely a huge upgrade," said Jae Beasley, attending Liberty High School. "An I am very glad that we got it."

Beasley has been playing football nearly his whole life. Just about 3 years ago, he started running in a different kind of field.

The field Beasley plays on was converted to turf during CCSD's first turf conversion project back in 2020. This included 29 natural grass fields.

Beasley says he is very thankful for the change. He says maintaining a natural grass field in a desert was a challenge.

"It was almost like concrete," he said. "We were playing on hard ground and now on this turf, it is very nice to play on."

Bronson Mack with the Southern Nevada Water Authority says for athletes like Beasley, they are in luck.

The water authority took a grant opportunity with the Bureau of Reclamation to get more funding and convert 22 more fields at 11 high schools.

This conversion aims to save more water. Each field conversion saves more than 2 million gallons a year.

"That's just going to further contribute to the water efficiency that we have seen in our communities," Mack said.

The grant is for $2 million dollars, the total cost of the project is nearly 5 million.

The downside to these conversions, according to Beasley, is the injuries.

"My knees, my shoulders, my elbows they all have turf burns," he said. "-I mean that's part of the game."

Head football coach and athletic director at Liberty High School, Rich Muraco says with turd, he has seen fewer rolled ankles and torn ACLS, but it can get extremely hot.

Muraco continues saying there are plans to get their soccer, softball and baseball fields converted as well.

"I personally do think it is worth it," he said. "From the standpoint of water conservation and having a more consistent field and surface all year. "

A CCSD spokesperson told KTNV that the district will spend over $290 million to install 9 million square feet of artificial turf on campuses. They anticipate the conversion of all high school sports fields to be completed in about 7 years.