A few residents in Glen Ellyn, IL were opposed to the Park District’s choice to install a new FieldTurf surface due to safety and health concerns. They opted to bring their case to court and were denied by the reigning Judge Wheaton, who ruled that the Plaintiffs failed to prove that the synthetic turf field would cause any irreparable harm and that the allegations that plaintiffs made were based upon speculation and conjecture rather than evidence. Further, the Judge ruled that the plaintiffs did not show they had a likelihood of success on the merits of their nuisance claims.
We have shared the full story below on our FieldTurf Blog.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2015
David Harris, Executive Director
185 Spring Avenue
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
Judge Denies Petition for Injunction to Halt Construction of Synthetic Turf Field at Newton Park
GLEN ELLYN, IL – On Monday, June 15, 2015, Judge Wheaton ruled in favor of the Glen Ellyn Park District and denied the plaintiffs’ petition for a preliminary injunction to halt construction of a FieldTurf synthetic turf field at Newton Park. The lawsuit was brought by Nancy Perlman, a Glen Ellyn resident and neighbor of Newton Park. Judge Wheaton’s ruling allows the Glen Ellyn Park District to continue construction and installation of the new synthetic turf field at Newton Park.
Judge Wheaton ruled that the Plaintiffs failed to prove that the synthetic turf field would cause any irreparable harm and that the allegations that plaintiffs made were based upon speculation and conjecture rather than evidence. Further, the Judge ruled that the plaintiffs did not show they had a likelihood of success on the merits of their nuisance claims.
“We are very pleased with the court’s decision,” said Executive Director Dave Harris, “while the District had to expend significant resources to defend our efforts to provide an improved athletic field, we are excited to move forward. The project has been discussed and strategized over the past four years, is the subject of an intergovernmental agreement with Glenbard High School District #87, and the outcome will be an enhanced athletic field which will directly or indirectly benefit the majority of participants in Park District sports programs and student athletes at Glenbard West High School.”
The Park District collaborated with the Glen Ellyn Golden Eagles football organization, the Glen Ellyn Bulldogs lacrosse club, the Glen Ellyn Lakers soccer association and Glenbard High School District #87 regarding this project. Each organization will benefit directly or indirectly by the installation of the synthetic turf field as will other local organizations including Glen Ellyn Youth Baseball and Glen Ellyn field hockey. Additionally, several of those groups are contributing financially to the expense of the installation and to the replacement costs that the District will incur in approximately ten years. As a result of these organizations commitments, the project will not adversely impact the Park District financially.
The safety and well being of participants and the community is a priority and the Glen Ellyn Park District is committed to best practices. With this in mind, the District performed its due diligence, researching the potential health and environmental impacts. Every single regulatory body that has performed and reviewed the substantial research on synthetic fields (including the Departments of Health for the States of California, Connecticut, and New York, as well as New York City and Norway) has concluded that the data on synthetic turf fields raises NO health concerns. As a result, FieldTurf was selected to supply and install the synthetic turf field. FieldTurf is an industry leader and has installed over 70% of the synthetic fields in the Chicago metro area. Their product is in the Ackerman Sports and Fitness Center and was selected by Glenbard High School District #87 for installation at each of their four high schools. Other nearby sites that have chosen and installed FieldTurf includes Wheaton North High School, Wheaton Warrenville South High School, Wheaton College, Wheaton Park District, Wheaton Academy, St. Francis High School, Downers Grove North High School and Downers Grove South High School. Additionally the Park District chose to upgrade the infill by selecting a cryogenic product that further minimizes any risk that the sand or rubber infill will migrate from the field either by water or wind.
“I am disappointed that a resident would resort to legal action at the tail end of a major decision, rather than engage earlier in the process,” stated Board President Julia Nephew. “The Board encourages residents to participate with us during the decision making process. We can be reached by email and voice mail. All major decisions of the Board are made only after robust public discussion.”
For more information on the Newton Park field improvement project, please visit http://www.gepark.org/new_press_newton-park-faq.html
About the Glen Ellyn Park District
Established in 1919, Glen Ellyn Park District’s mission is “driven to foster diverse, community based leisure opportunities, through a harmonious blend of quality recreation programs, facilities and open space which will enhance the quality of life into the future.”
The Park District serves 35,000 residents in Glen Ellyn and unincorporated Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Glendale Heights, Lombard and Wheaton. The Park District owns and maintains 30 parks and facilities and offers cultural, athletic and general interest programs and special events for its residents, from infants through seniors.