Page 8 THE MALDEN ADVOCATE–Friday, April 12, 2019 ~ Letter to the Editor ~ The real costs of artifi cial turf on Roosevelt Park Dear Editor, In the last few weeks, the Salemwood School community and Malden residents learned there is a plan to artifi cial turf the Roosevelt Field to meet the needs of the many athletic teams in the City. At face value this may seem like a great idea considering the condition of the fi eld. The field has not been renovated since the school was built nearly 20 years ago in 1999. There is no doubt the field certainly needs renovations which includes an improved drainage system to alleviate muddy conditions. But it is not that easy, artificial turf removes another large natural green space in our community forever. Artifi - cial turf adds to global warming through increasing ground surface temperatures by as much as 40 degrees. By removing grass, we are also removing a natural pollution fi lter, a natural heat absorber and cooling system in the summer, and a resource for adding oxygen into the air. The cost of using crumb rubber infi ll in the turf is a more serious issue. Crumb rubber is an unregulated product that is now being investigated as part of extensive research studies by the EPA, Consumer Product Safety Commission and the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). Crumb rubber is made up of shredded and ground up used tires that conGrand Opening! Wood Fired Pizzeria tain a host of harmful substances and known carcinogens that could seriously affect the health of individuals playing on these fi elds but more importantly, in this case, the children from the Salemwood School who will be playing on this product for over 9 years of their life as students at the Salemwood School. The cheapest option at the time is not always the cheapest option in the long run. There are confl icting cost savings data comparing natural grass maintenance and the cost of maintaining, replacing and disposing of turf at the end of its useful life. The cost of this project is well View our Full Menu Online Buy One Pizza/Get 2nd Pizza FREE! (Monday & Tuesdays/Dine-in or Pick-up Only) 1268 Broadway, Rte. 1 North, Saugus (781) 558-5353 * www.famigliafoornaciari.com Open Daily: 11:30-10:00 PM over $2 million. A large portion of the taxpayer funded Community Preservation Act monies are being funneled into the project. The cost of not involving the Salemwood School community and the surrounding neighborhood has divided residents and caused a riff because the planning of this project was not transparent and inclusive from the start. The cost of not including the planning of this project with the Salemwood Community is this: the 1200 low income and predominantly (70 percent) ELL students who attend this school had no part in planning the design of this project. There is no plan for a basketball court which is a priority for the students. There is no plan for an additional handicap accessible playground for the many multi handicap students who attend the school. There was no outreach as to how this lengthy construction project will aff ect the school day for the students and staff . As an educator at the Salemwood School and a lifelong resident of Malden, I cannot, in good conscience vote for anyone in political offi ce, who approves this project without stepping back and approaching it from a more inclusive, transparent and cautious manner. The Salemwood Community and the surrounding neighborhood should not have been an afterthought. The Salemwood School was built on this park and the children who attend this school should be the fi rst priority. I, personally, believe Malden can do a better job as a community in this instance. Signed, Kathleen M. 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