The landscaping surrounding the Snoqualmie Community Center looks decidedly different than traditional athletic field grass—because it is. The product is called "eco-turf" or "eco-grass" and was installed to meet a requirement of an $800,000 grant received by the YMCA of Greater Seattle that helped build the Youth Development Center.* The grant required that the facility be built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards. That designation requires a minimum number of credits. The type of grass used (along with numerous other building elements) received much-needed LEED credits.
Eco-turf requires less mowing, chemicals and irrigation than traditional turf. The seeds are a mixture of various types of grass and wildflowers and will grow much longer—and more colorfully—than traditional turf and will have a less consistent appearance because of the variety. The seed also takes longer to fill in and become dense. If mowed, the turf will still be left taller than traditional athletic fields or other landscaping.
For more information on eco-turf, visit the Washington State University webpage about eco-lawns at: http://gardening.wsu.edu/library/lawn006/lawn006.htm
*The Youth Development Center (YDC) is open to all Snoqualmie Valley youth ages 8-15. No membership to the YMCA is required and friends are welcome. More info about the YDC: www.seattleymca.org/locations/snoqualmie