Feature Article - March 2004
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Grass-Roots Communication

For sports turf maintenance, there’s a lot of handy information for those in the field

By Stacy St. Clair



Doing It the Old-Fashion Way

The Internet isn't the only way to keep on top of the turf-grass industry. Professional associations and societies still offer great ways to keep up with the latest advancements and meet fellow groundskeepers.

HERE ARE THREE TO CONSIDER:


Sports Turf Managers Association

The organization formed in 1981 when a group of sports turf managers decided sports fields could be improved through the sharing of knowledge and the exchange of ideas. The group's major focus for 2004 is promoting the marketing plan designed to improve the profession's image. The association aims to create awareness that its members are experts on the field and partners in the game. The association also has the SAFE Foundation—The Foundation for Safe Athletic Field Environments—that provides scholarships for industry research.

The STMA can be reached at 800-323-3875 or visit www.sportsturfmanager.com.


Professional Grounds Management Society

Unlike associations, the Professional Grounds Management Society concentrates on promoting individuals rather than the industry at-large. The majority of members are institutional grounds managers who work for organizations such as parks districts, colleges, municipalities and theme parks. The society contends its greatest benefit to members is the ability to meet other members. Its network of local branches gives members an opportunity to socialize and talk shop on a regular basis. Its nationally recognized certification program is rapidly becoming an industry requirement.

For more information about the society, call 800-609-PGMS. Details also are available online at www.pgms.org.


National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association

While not solely dedicated to field maintenance, the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association tackles many important turf issues. It has to. Athletic directors often double as turf managers or at least overseen them. The organization's turf advisory committee—which is made up of both administrators and commercial partners—aims to teach athletic directors how to improve their fields while minimizing the risk to athletes. The group's sports turf advisory committee holds seminars for administrators and helps perform renovations on facilities.

For more information about the association, call 317-972-6900 or visit www.niaaa.org.