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Turf Trouble: Some DC School Fields Fail Safety Tests

Some D.C. parents are concerned about how artificial turf could endanger their children after some school and community fields failed safety tests.  

The D.C. Department of General Services found 16 artificial fields at D.C. public schools and parks were too hard and children who play on those fields may have a greater chance of getting concussions and injuries.

Turfs that aren't replaced can become tougher with time.

DGS said it plans to completely replace three elementary school fields and make repairs to a fourth elementary school field.

“What is cushioning their fall?” said parent Penina Alexander. Her son Ariel attends John Eaton Elementary School in Northwest, which has one of the three fields DGS intends on replacing. “You don’t think they need to be wearing safety gear just to go to recess.”

Nine other fields have already been repaired and are open, DGS said. Three other elementary school fields underwent minor repairs.

Despite promises from DGS to fix the fields within the upcoming weeks, Alexander said she still has doubts about how the issue is being handled.

“We haven’t had any information in terms of follow-up of what they’re planning to replace it with,” Alexander said.

Fields that have been repaired or had minor repairs:

  • McKinley High School 
  • Wilson High School 
  • Riggs Recreation Center 
  • Bell/Lincoln (Columbia Heights EC) 
  • Deanwood Recreation Center 
  • Jellef Recreation Center 
  • Bundy Field 
  • Parkview Recreation Center 
  • Upshur Park 
  • Ross Elementary School 
  • Tubman Elementary School 
  • Mann Elementary School 

Fields closed and being repaired:

  • Brightwood Elementary School (to be completed 2nd Week of October 2017)  

Fields closed and being replaced:

  • Janney Elementary School (delivery September 21, 2017) 
  • Adams Elementary School (delivery by 2nd Week of October 2017) 
  • John Eaton Elementary School (delivery by 2nd Week of October 2017)
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