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NLA Helps Local School

Association members chip in to replace sod at Hunter Elementary

by Michelle d'Hulst

If you think back on your childhood, chances are you have memories of playing on a grassy field. Kicking a soccer ball, engaging in a neighborhood game of baseball, or simply playing an impromptu game of freeze tag might be some of the childhood adventures you remember.

The students at Hunter Lake Elementary School wanted to have a new field so badly that they raised $8,600 over a two year period in order to afford it. Principal Eileen Grein explained that the kids sold giftwrap and hosted a jogathon to raise the funds. All along, the money was earmarked for playground improvements. The kids even got to cast their vote to decide what the money would be specifically used for-a new grass field got the most votes with new play structures ranking a close second.

Once the irrigation system and sod was installed, it didn't thrive. It was obvious to the school that the new turf was dying and would need to be replaced. Principal Grein contacted the Nevada Landscape Association and explained the situation. Reno chapter members banded together to repair the irrigation system and to re-sod the 7,500 square foot area. Before the replacement could take place though, the old sod needed to be removed and the soil prepared. Oakcrest Landscaping volunteered to remove the old sod and hauled it away.

When the old turf was gone, it was time for the soil to be tilled. Legends Landscape, Reno Lawn & Landscape, and Earthscape all chipped in to prepare the soil before the new turf was installed. Numerous rocks were removed from the soil with the use of a soil leveler/rock separator donated by Western Traction.

The old irrigation system also needed to be revamped and repaired before the new sod was laid down. R-Supply and Western Nevada Supply both worked to accomplish this important task. This point was crucial because inadequate watering is probably the reason that the first batch of sod failed.

Finally, Western Turf installed the turf grass that they donated. Diamond Lawn & Landscape offered their services by hand laying sections of sod and fine tuning the irrigation system.

This project was a unique volunteer effort because so many companies and Landscape Contractors got involved. "Sometimes in projects like this, the bulk of the work is taken care of by only a few people," Paul Flynt of Lawns Etc. explained. "But, this project worked out great because everybody was able to pitch-in and get involved so that the work went quickly."

In early spring the field will be initiated with soccer balls, baseballs, and the laughter of children as they enjoy their grass field. The school is playing it safe with the sod because they want to make sure it is established before they let the children play on it.

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October 13, 2019, 6:59 pm PDT

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