Artificial grass vs natural grass – Part 7
Another aspect that must be considered when undertaking such large projects in the community is the environmental impacts a project might have. Natural grass fields as I mentioned above do require fertilizing and, in some cases, this can lead to run off into local creeks. This runoff then gets into the water systems and can add to the pollution that then goes into the ocean. The grass clippings as well if not properly disposed of may transport weeds that are in the ground via vegetative propagation. These are the two main environmental impacts of the maintenance of natural grass. If natural grass was simply left by itself then it really would not have an impact on the environment. Eventually it would grow wild and effectively create a habitat for flora and fauna to grow.
Artificial grass on the other hand can have a significant impact on the environment. Firstly, the construction of the field completely changes the soil composition and removes all the natural grass that can be a habitat for small insects, lizards which then provide food for birds and so on. On top of that, runoff from the construction process depending on where it occurs may end up in the creek or river systems. This can then cause algae blooms and promote the growth of weeds and invasive species. Furthermore, if it gets into the ocean it creates the same issues as fertilizers. Grass although small also contributes to the reduction of pollution through the process of photosynthesis.
There are also concerns to do with the rubber pellets. There are already many cases of animals mistaking small bits of manmade materials such as plastic as food. Once they are ingested animals may become sick and may even die as a result. This concern is especially relevant to the existing artificial field at Melwood Oval and the proposed artificial grass fields to go in at Millers Reserve. Both sites have creeks bordering the oval. There have been concerns raised by community members that the rubber pellets and runoff from the fields will enter the water system and animals may mistake these as food.