FAQ

Have questions about the Madison Athletic Foundation and its activities?  Read answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

Is the Madison Athletic Foundation a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization?

The Madison Athletic Foundation applied for and was granted 501(c)(3) status in July 2006.  The status was most recently confirmed by the IRS in March 2011. Click the link below to view the IRS confirmation letter.
IRS Tax Exemption

How was the turf fields project designed?
The turf fields were designed over the several years and included input from all the recreation sports in town through the Madison Recreation Advisory Committee (RAC), which consists of representatives of all borough recreation sports.

Is there a Master Plan for the MRC and 49 Acres property?
Yes!  The Borough of Madison commissioned T&M Associates in 2010 to design what a potential fully developed MRC property might encompass, including ideas such as walking paths, community gardens, dog parks, both active recreation and passive recreation opportunities.  To date, the 49 Acres includes the MRC turf fields, the 70+ plot Community Gardens, and a walking path.  Further development of passive and active recreation is being considered by the borough.

How can I help?
The primary function of the MAF is to raise funds to advance recreational sports.  If you would like to make a donation, please click the button on the right sidebar or mail a check to the MAF at PO Box 195, Madison, NJ 07940.  If you are part of a corporation that would like to participate in the MRC sponsorship program please click HERE and an MAF representative will contact you.

Why artificial turf rather than natural grass fields?
In a perfect world, natural grass fields are wonderful.  In the northeast United States where seasonal weather may severely affect athletic fields, many communities have installed artificial turf fields to solve their field shortage and overuse problems. Madison is a community where thousands of children participate each year in field sports and other field related activities.  For years our natural grass athletic fields have been overused, resulting in poor field conditions and downright hazardous in many cases.  Artificial turf solves this problem and provides safe, reliable playing surface with the flexibility to support multiple sporting events concurrently and consecutively while maintaining field integrity and consistency.

Are artificial turf fields safe?
Would we put our children in harms way?  Of course not.  The findings of long-term testing programs show that artificial turf is safer than natural grass in most critical areas of player safety.

An independent, three-year study of competitive college football showed that when compared to natural grass the leading artificial turf system leads to:

  • 74% Fewer Muscle Tears
  • 42% Lower ACL Trauma
  • 32% Fewer Ligament Tears
  • 22% Fewer Severe Injuries
  • 19% Fewer Substantial Injuries
  • 12% Fewer Concussions
  • 10% Less Injury From Shoe Surface Interaction during Contact
  • 8% Less Injury From Shoe Surface Interaction during Non-Contact
  • 7% Fewer Total Injuries

An independent, five-year safety study of competitive high school football showed that when compared to natural grass the FieldTurf system leads to:

  • 55% Fewer Neural Injuries
  • 47% Fewer Cranial / Cervical Injuries
  • 38% Fewer 3rd Degree Injuries
  • 45% Less Time Lost to Long-Term Injuries (Lasting 22+ Days)
  • 35% Less Time Lost to Short-Term Injuries (Lasting 1-2 Days)

Do turf field require a lot of maintenance?
Maintenance on an artificial turf surface is minimal. Every 4-6 weeks some brushing/grooming is required. The machinery used is provided by the turf company at installation, so the cost to maintain a field is minimal manpower.

In the long run, will an artificial turf field cost more than a natural grass field?
No!  Much less in fact.  Please see this analysis from Montgomery County, MD, when they made their decision for artificial turf in 2011.

At the end of an artificial turf field’s life, are they recyclable?
Yes! Turf fields are 100% recyclable. When a turf field installation finally comes to the end of its long life – it continues to help our planet. The leading turf companies remove entire turf systems and recycle them.

Can installing artificial turf fields actually be considered “Going Green?”
Yes!!  When it comes to carbon footprints, there’s simply no comparison between natural grass and artificial turf fields. By installing, we’re becoming part of an environmental movement that not only saves clean drinking water, but also:

  • Eliminates impact on water resources
  • Eliminates the use of billions of pounds of chemicals
  • Removes millions of tires from landfill sites each year
  • Significantly lowers the use of natural gas and other fossil fuels
  • Eliminates fuel-powered mowing, aerating, and re-seeding
  • Eliminates grass clippings
  • Can contribute toward numerous Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits
  • Is less likely to provoke asthma or allergy attacks
  • Is not a breeding ground for the MRSA (staph) bacteria

The environmental benefits of artificial turf have been well documented for years. Hundreds of studies have been completed to discover the truth about any potential risks of artificial turf.

Do artificial turf fields increase chances of infections?
Recently sports trainers and coaches of all levels have had a growing concern about outbreaks of an antibiotic-resistant staph bacterium that some people have associated with synthetic turf fields. But as the truth continues to surface and the hysteria continues to settle, it is clear that there is nothing to worry about underfoot.
Should there be concern about Staph/MRSA? Absolutely. In fact, a federal report this week found up to 90,000 people a year in U.S. get the drug-resistant bug and 19,000 die.

Staphylococcus aureus is a common bacterium that often lives harmlessly on the skin or in the nose. When introduced into the body through a cut or medical incision, it can cause anything from minor skin lesions to life-threatening bloodstream infections, pneumonia, or organ damage. A strain of the bacterium, MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus), has developed a resistance to the antibiotic typically used to treat it — synthetic penicillin – and is becoming a major concern for sports teams with synthetic turf fields. The strain has also become one of the most common causes of skin infections requiring emergency room treatment nationally.

Most recently there was a Staph outbreak at Mt. Lebanon High School in Pennsylvania. Health officials agreed to test Mt. Lebanon High facilities after a meeting with concerned parents. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, or MRSA, infections have afflicted 11 student-athletes since Sept. 13 The headlines in the papers read “Mt. Lebanon’s turf, facilities test clean for bacteria”.

The Allegheny County Health Department collected 13 test samples from the school’s facilities on Thursday, October 18, 2007 and learned the results less than 24 hours later, spokesman Guillermo Cole said.

“This confirms what we thought all along,” Cole said. “The speed with which we obtained the results is a testament to how clean things are there.”

The case at Mt. Lebanon is not an isolated one. Lakewood City Schools (OH) also had an outbreak on campus and tested their athletic field (Astroturf) for Staph. They found no staph and very little bacteria at all on the field.

A study by researchers at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences should help put those concerns to rest.

Conducted by the university’s Center for Turfgrass Science, the study found no trace of staphylococcus aureus bacterium in any of the 20 infilled synthetic turf fields tested in various locations in Pennsylvania.

“These infilled systems are not a hospitable environment for microbial activity,” says study author Andy McNitt, Associate Professor of Soil Science. “They tend to be dry and exposed to outdoor temperatures, which fluctuate rapidly. Plus, the infill media itself (ground-up tires) contains zinc and sulfur, both of which are known to inhibit microbial growth. Considering the temperature range for growth of s. aureus is 7 to 48 degrees Celsius, we didn’t expect to find this bacterium in fields exposed to sunlight, since the temperatures on these fields frequently exceed 48 degrees.”

Are their studies available about the safety of artificial turf?
We encourage everyone to objectively educate themselves about the safety of artificial turf.  We have included several reports on the safety of artificial turf HERE.

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