By Joe Earle

Sandy Springs recreation officials believe they’ve found a way to make sure a popular city athletic field will stay green next spring.
They’re installing AstroTurf.
Sandy Springs recreation and parks director Ronnie Young said putting artificial turf on the Hammond Park field means participants in city recreation leagues should get more use from the facility.
“You can play on it anytime, any day,” Young said. “Normally, on a field like this, when you have this heavy a use, you can’t keep grass on it.”
AstroTurf, he said, should reduce maintenance costs for the field and help keep the field from turning into a mud hole when used during periods of bad weather.
The field hosts seven recreation leagues, including soccer and adult kickball leagues, Young told members of the Sandy Springs City Council at their meeting earlier this month. The largest is an adult kickball league, he said.
The council unanimously approved the $525,000 project. The cost covers $454,630 for the installation of the turf and adds fencing, bleachers, the purchase of goalposts and a sweeper machine, Young told council members.
Contractors will start preparing the field for installation of the artificial turf later this month, Young said. Barring weather delays, the project should be complete by early March, he said.
The work was scheduled to avoid conflicts with league schedules, District 6 City Councilwoman Karen Meinzen McEnerny said. The leagues usually don’t use the field in the winter, she said, and the work should be done by the time play begins again in the spring. “This is a win-win,” she said.