In The News
Rapid City, SD — For Rapid City’s Main Street Square, laying down sod every spring, only to rip it out in a few months’ time, has been a costly venture.
And then there’s the mud, a common complaint from those who bring their youngsters to the square after rainstorms or when the kids frolic to-and-fro from the courtyard’s fountain, according to Main Street Square Executive director Megan Whitman.
To remedy the mess and save money, the group recently forsook the sod in favor of new, lush-looking nylon turf, which will last 15-plus years, Whitman said, adding that the sod often grows only sparsely because of the constant foot traffic.
“We have thousands of kids that come down and play in the fountain … . And when they’re playing in the fountain, they are also playing in the grass, so a lot of the time they were getting muddy, and then, they would be dragging that into the fountain,” she said. “You don’t have to have that mud factor.”
The new turf also allows full access to the square up to eight weeks earlier in the spring, after the popular ice skating rink is packed up, Whitman said.
“Typically at this time of year, we are re-sodding, waiting for that grass to root, and we have to limit the traffic we have at Main Street Square,” she said. “It’s been very difficult to grow grass. Last year, we had struggled with a lot of different mud spots and areas where the grass had become really sparse.”
As for the money involved, she wouldn’t divulge what the privately funded turf cost but said, in the end, the nylon grass will mean a significant savings for Main Street Square. The investment, she said, will be repaid in five to seven years.
“It cost thousands of dollars to re-sod every year, and then, basically we’re putting it down and ripping it right back out,” Whitman said. “This will definitely give our operational budget a cost savings.”