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Sharon J. Drysdale Field Named Stabilizer Solutions/NFCA Field Maintenance Award Winner

 Northwestern University’s Sharon J. Drysdale Field has been selected as the College winner of the 2008 Stabilizer Solutions/NFCA Field Maintenance Award. 

The award is sponsored by the “Official Playing Surface” of the NFCA, Stabilizer Solutions. It recognizes outstanding grounds maintenance and quality playing surfaces. Winners will be recognized Wednesday, December 10, during the opening business meeting at the NFCA National Convention in Marco Island, Florida. 

The following is the submission letter entered by Northwestern University: 

I would like to nominate Sharon J. Drysdale field for the 2008 NFCA/Stabilizer Solutions field of the year. It is located on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and is home to the Wildcats. 

The field has been a work in progress since 1980 when it was first constructed. In the fall of 2003 the playing field was updated. The outfield was stripped of its existing grass and set to a new grade. The old infield material was removed and replaced with Hilltopper infield mix. The Hilltopper allows us to use the field as soon as the snow is melted and has eliminated rain games. 

In the fall of 2007, ground was again broken to initiate the construction of new dugouts, bleachers, a press box and backstop. Before this construction, the dugouts were above ground, the bleachers did not have the capacity to hold half the people that came to the games, and a press box did not exist. This upgrade was the final piece to make the facility and field the best around. 

The coaches have a facility that rivals any others and has helped them to be very successful in recent years. The grounds maintenance crew (pictured left) has a field that is playable all the time and is low maintenance compared to traditional infields. All parties involved with this field are eager to talk and gloat of its success. 

I want to say thank you for your time in considering Sharon J. Drysdale field as the 2008 NFCA/Stabilizer Solutions field of the year winner. It would be an honor that Northwestern University would cherish. 

Tim VanLoo 
Agronomist/Assistant Director of Facilities