STMA News Online

News You Can Use

Early bird registration – and pricing – ends Dec. 15! Prices jump from the early bird rate of $350 to $450 (Dec. 15-31), and then to $525 (After Dec. 31 & on-site). A digital version of the brochure is available online here. To help expedite the registration process, STMA is asking that all attendees register online (instructions and links on homepage).

The Hyatt, STMA's host hotel for the 2015 conference, is filling up fast; Wednesday, January 14, is already sold out. The overflow hotel is the Sheraton Denver Downtown, with info below. Please note to use the "STMA Sub-Block" phrase when making your reservation.

The Sheraton is very close to the Hyatt and the Colorado Convention Center, which is site of STMA's conference education and exhibition.

1550 Court Place, Denver, CO 80202
Book online here.

Make sure you use "STMA Sub-Block" – important to reference entire name.

Give to @SAFEFieldsWe have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. Today, Tuesday, December 2, 2014, is the day the world comes together for a common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

Give to STMA's charity, The SAFE Foundation. SAFE funds scholarships and educational outreach. SAFE has no staff and its overhead is paid by the STMA so EVERY dollar you give goes directly to advance its mission: To enrich communities through championing safe, sustainable sports and recreation fields for all athletes.

In lieu of a cash donation, SAFE is in need of items for its auctions and raffles. Team gear, gift cards, tickets to sporting events, electronics, sports memorabilia, products and equipment -- virtually anything you wish to donate helps SAFE. Bring it to the STMA conference with you and drop it off at the registration desk, or ship it to STMA's headquarters to arrive by Dec. 15. Please let us know about non-cash donations by filling out this form.

STMA has set its Annual Meeting for Thurs., Jan. 15, 11a.m. - 1:15 p.m. (includes Keynote address by Karl Mecklenburg and lunch). The meeting will take place at the Denver Convention Center, Denver, Colo., in the Four Seasons Ballroom 3 & 4.

The Annual Meeting will introduce the newly elected board of directors, recognize board members who are going off of the board, and provide a review of STMA's annual audit and public relations progress. The agenda does not include any items requiring a vote. However, if an item should come before the membership during the meeting, and you will not be present, you have the right to a proxy. Please click here to indicate who you authorize to cast a vote on your behalf.

Since 1992, STMA’s Field of the Year Award is given to members who manage baseball, football, soccer, softball and other sporting grounds at the professional, collegiate or schools (K-12) and parks and recreation level. The 2014 winners are listed below: 


  • Soccer - Maryland SoccerPlex Stadium Field (Boyds, Md.): Ryan Bjorn, Sports Field Director 

College and University

  • Baseball - Russ Chandler Stadium at Georgia Tech (Atlanta, Ga.): Jon DeWitt, CSFM, Sports Turf Manager; Chris May, Baseball Field Manager 
  • Football – “The Swamp” at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium - University of Florida (Gainesville, Fla.): Jason Smith, Turf Coordinator 
  • Softball - John Cropp Stadium at University of Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.): Eric Harshman, Sports Turf Assistant Manager 
  • Soccer - Georgia State Soccer Complex at Georgia State University (Atlanta, Ga.): Kyle Slaton, CSFM, Director of Sports Turf & Grounds 

Schools and Parks

  • Baseball - Don Dunker Field at Noblesville Schools (Noblesville, Ind.): Joshua Weigel, Superintendent of Grounds 
  • Football - Clover Memorial Stadium at Clover School District (Clover, S.C.): Will Rogers, Sports Turf Manager 
  • Softball - Waukegan Park District (Waukegan, Ill.): Noel Brusius, CSFM, Sports Turf Manager 
  • Soccer - North Area Athletic Complex Soccer Field at Jefferson County School District (Golden, Colo.): Sun Roesslein, Stadium Manager; Christi Clay, Stadium Manager 
  • Sporting Grounds - Championship Field at Pleasant View Sports Complex (Boulder, Colo.): Don McGhee, Head Sports Turf Manager 

“The Field of the Year Award is a testament to the personal and professional contributions by a select group of sports turf industry leaders,” says Kim Heck, CEO of STMA. "The process of selecting winners each year becomes more difficult as the candidate pool grows and the industry continues to progress with innovative technologies, state-of-the-art equipment and best practices.”  

A panel of 11 judges independently scored entries based on playability, appearance of surfaces, utilization of innovative solutions, effective use of budget and implementation of a comprehensive agronomic program. Judges may not award a field in each category. Winning fields will be featured in a 2015 issue of Sports Turf Magazine.

STMA's Information Outreach Committee has updated the Guide to Synthetic and Natural Turfgrass for Sports Fields – Selection, Construction, and Maintenance Considerations. The guide provides information on field construction, field management, necessary equipment, health and safety concerns, warranties, and more. Click here to access the guide.

Volunteer for an STMA Committee! Throughout January, the link to volunteer for committee service will be posted at If you are currently serving you will need to sign up again for the 2015 year. To view the full committee list of committees that were engaged for this year, click here.

The SAFE Foundation, which is STMA's charity, is seeking items for its auction and raffles. SAFE raises more than 80 percent of its funds during the events it holds at the annual STMA Conference. Please donate team gear, products, equipment, tickets to sporting events, gift cards, sports memorabilia...just about anything will be most appreciated. You can ship items to STMA's headquarters by Dec. 15, or bring it to the conference and drop it off at registration.

Please help SAFE continue to fund scholarships and educational outreach to stakeholders such as parent groups, volunteers, coaches and athletes. Its first video on safety at football and soccer facilities is in production. The video helps to educate these non sports turf managers on how to visually inspect the playing surface, goals and goal posts, and general areas such as fencing, and bleachers. Equally important in the video is what to do if there is a problem identified.

Help SAFE provide safer athletic fields by donating an item, purchasing items, and participating in its events during the conference. Not coming to conference? Cash donations are always appreciated. Donate here.

Sponsored by Fields, Inc. Fields Inc

This year the SAFE Board of Trustees is holding their annual event with a little twist. Leave your golf clubs at home because this year the SAFE Foundation presents a "Night of Entertainment" at the 2015 STMA conference in place of its annual golf tournament.

Join in on SAFE's Night of Entertainment on Tues., Jan. 13, starting at 6 p.m.

The Night of Entertainment will include bowling, assorted games, prizes and more! Accompanied by signature cocktails and a custom menu, this will be a night you won't want to miss. Whether you're competitive or not, guests will have free range to form teams or bowl individually. We encourage guests to have some fun with it and form teams based on chapter, state, category or any other combination! There will be prizes for top team and individual bowler.

Sign up at today or give us a call at 800-323-3875.

Each month two speakers presenting at the 2015 National STMA Conference and Exhibition in Denver, Colorado will be featured. Don't miss the educational opportunities offered at the conference!

JHendersonJason Henderson, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at University of Connecticut. On Wednesday, January 14, he will be presenting "Best Management Practices for Pesticide-Free, Cool Season Athletic Fields" with Victoria Wallace. Five cultural practices are important to pesticide free, cool season turfgrass management. These cultural practices are: mowing, fertilization, cultivation, pest control and irrigation. Aggressive overseeding and compost topdressing are also important and will be discussed. The presentation also will include "tips" to optimize each management treatment. As many states regulate pesticide use, there has been confusion as to effective measures managers can use to maintain healthy and safe playing fields. Implementing good cultural practices throughout the year will help maintain healthy turfgrass and provide a playing surface that should tolerate the intense wear typically found on athletic fields.

After attending this session, participants will understand:
• The 5 primary cultural practices important for managing pesticide-free, cool-season athletic fields.
• The need for aggressive overseeding in a pesticide-free athletic field management program.
• How compost topdressing can influence pesticide-free athletic field management.


TJBrewerTJ Brewer, CSFM is the Head Groundskeeper for the Burlington Bees. On Thursday, January 15, he will be presenting "Reducing Your Inputs". With tightening budgets and increased awareness of environmental stewardship, the push is on to do more with less. This is a summary of some of the things I have tried, with varying success, to work within the realm of a constricting budget while working to become more eco-friendly.

By attending this session, participants will learn:
• It is possible to decrease inputs and increase expectations.
• Strategies to try something new and go all in.
• You don't have to apply the whole concept, but use their ideas to improve your facility.

The 2015 STMA Conference will be taking place January 13-16 in Denver, Colorado. Don't forget to register to take part in the STMA Student Challenge by December 15. Registrations will not be accepted after December 15 or on-site.

The Student Challenge takes place at a new time – Thursday, January 15 from 2-4:30 pm.

A maximum of four undergraduates (graduate students are not allowed to participate) can compete on a team, and must declare if they are representing a two-year or four-year institution. Competitors receive complimentary conference registration.

All student challenge competitors are REQUIRED to register online. No paper registration forms will be accepted. Each team member must register individually. When registering, click on Member Log In online at You must be a national STMA member to compete in the student challenge. If you are not a member, you may pay your dues ($25) while registering for the conference. On the Members Only home page, click on Membership, Merchandise, and Online Registration. To register for the conference, click on "2014 Student Challenge Registration Participants ONLY" and your fee will be waived. When you register, you will be required to provide your school name, if you are competing as a 2- or 4-year team, all team member names, your email, and emergency contact information. If you would like to register for any of the optional events, you may do so online or by using a paper form; however, these do require an additional fee. If you have any questions, please contact Kristen Althouse at  

Athletic Field Renovation Tips with Jeff Fowler on Wednesday, December 17 at 1 pm EST - Register Here 

To view recorded webinars, click here.

The 2-Minute Tip for Success

You need a strategy to get the most out of a trade show. You can't just show up and expect to absorb business-changing concepts. Here are four tips from NCET, a small business association for entrepreneurialship and technology you can use to make sure that you get the most out of the STMA exhibition.

Turf Rundown

Much of the country is beginning to experience colder temperatures with the onset of winter. Direct low temperature kill, frost damage, desiccation, ice damage, or salt damage could be damaging to turfgrass areas. Click here to learn about the different causes of turfgrass injury associated with low temperatures.

International Resources


Student challenge