Update – Reconstruction of Natural Turf Fields by Penrith Council.

Penrith Council are responsible for around 160 sports fields. They are working on updating their natural turf ovals and currently have around 36 converted to ‘best practice’ design and maintenance standards. Expert Soil Scientist Dr Mick Battam (Agenviro) has overseen the reconstruction of about 4 natural turf sporting fields in Penrith to date, with a further 10 fields about to come on line (March 2023).

Penrith Council was the first metropolitan council in Sydney to Implement FOGO (food organics and garden organics) recycling in 2009. The council has used FOGO compost to develop strong turf cultivars in many of their fields with good results.  Council’s FOGO material is turned into compost and is being used as topsoil to resurface and reconstruct their sporting fields. To date, 36 sports fields have been reconstructed using this technology.

Recent examples are Caddens Oval in Claremont Meadows and Mulgoa Rise Fields in Glemore Park. Caddens Oval was nutritionally depleted and very low in organic matter. It required 175 cubic metres of FOGO material applied at a rate of 10mm across the entire surface. A reapplication program utilising FOGO material will continue at this site to sustain and promote healthy turf growth.

Ref: https://www.penrithcity.nsw.gov.au/news/1387-penrith-s-top-fogo-efforts-in-action

At a recent ‘Best on Ground’ event organised by AORA and NSW EPA, representatives from Penrith Council spoke very positively about FOGO and Dr Battam’s approach to field management. They said capacity of these natural turf fields was at least 50 hours per week.

Contact : Malcolm Sheens (Operations Coordinator – Public Spaces Maintenance) at Malcolm.sheens@penrith.city

Other contacts:

AORA (Australian Organics Recycling Association) – https://www.aora.org.au/

Agenviro Solutions – http://www.agenviro.com/

EPA (FOGO) – https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/your-environment/recycling-and-reuse/business-government-recycling/food-organics-and-garden-organics