The 2015 Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games will be making history in many ways. Women’s baseball is being included in the Pan Am Games, and this will be a first in a multi-sport games. Also, golf’s return to the Olympic Games after more than 100 years will take place a year after the Pan Am Games’ inaugural golf tournament in July 2015. When you’re hosting the third-largest international multi-sport Games, you have to be sure that the facilities will be ready for use, regardless of what Mother Nature decides to send your way. That’s why the baseball diamonds at the President’s Choice Ajax Pan Am Ballpark and the fields at the CIBC Pan Am/ Parapan Am Athletics Stadium at York University were outfitted with an engineered sand profile.
“The advantage of an engineered sand profile is that it does not get compacted. Plants need air and water to grow; as soon as the growing medium gets compacted, it’s very difficult for grass to grow. Also, with an engineered sand profile, the water will always drain if you get an inch or two of rain,” explained Steve Schiedel, Greenhorizons CEO. “Golf courses have been utilizing this technology for over 30 years, but it’s only just starting to be used in sports fields.”
Speaking of golf courses, we completed a total greens renovation at the Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham. It was a months-long process that started there last fall, but we were working on it even before then, because we custom-grew the turf that we installed, a process that took over a year.
Angus Glen Golf Club has hosted the Canadian Open twice (in 2002 and 2007), and it was selected as the locale for the Pan Am Games through a request for proposals process that was conducted by Golf Canada. All of the Pan Am baseball and softball games will be played at the President’s Choice Ajax Pan Am Ballpark; we helped convert the facility’s two soccer fields into ball diamonds that meet the International Baseball Federation and International Softball Federation’s most up-to-date standards. The turf was installed in the last week of September 2014, but we are working with the Town of Ajax and its staff to make sure that it is properly maintained so that when the athletes are ready to play ball, the field will be, too. Steve Schiedel and Scott Hunte did a full-day training seminar to detail the unique needs of the ball diamonds’ turf, including the proper methods for topdressing, aerating, watering and mowing. The CIBC Pan Am/ Parapan Am Athletics Stadium, located in York University in Toronto, is certified as a Class 1 track, suitable for hosting Olympic and other top-tier competitions, by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF). Whether it’s the marathon, track and field, or race walk competitions, our turf will be ready for the athletes- and it will be a level playing field for everyone.