Climate Change and Canadian Communities' Grass-based Sport Fields

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  • Title: Climate Change and Canadian Communities' Grass-based Sport Fields
  • Author(s): Cheryl Mallen, Greg Dingle
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: On Sustainability
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability
  • Keywords: Climate Change, Municipalities, Grass-based Sports Fields
  • Volume: 13
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2017
  • ISSN: 2325-1077 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2325-1085 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2325-1077/CGP/v13i02/45-59
  • Citation: Mallen, Cheryl, and Greg Dingle. 2017. "Climate Change and Canadian Communities' Grass-based Sport Fields." The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability 13 (2): 45-59. doi:10.18848/2325-1077/CGP/v13i02/45-59.

Abstract

This study examines adaptations being completed by those maintaining municipal grass-based sports fields during times of climate change. A total of sixteen in-depth interviews were conducted from May to July 2016. A semi-structured interview guide was utilized. The questions aimed to determine the awareness and impact of changing weather conditions or the problem of climate change, including the priority of the problem, and weather information sources. As well, the questions sought understandings on the strategies for adapting/mitigating for the issue of climate change. All interviews were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim for analysis. Content analysis of the data was utilized, and, specifically, all data were analyzed and categorized by topics, key themes, and/or central questions offered for interpretation. The interview participant selection involved purposeful sampling. The participants held a variety of key employment positions that included directors, senior managers, managers, and key maintenance personnel of departments such as Parks and Recreation, Open Spaces, Parks Operations, Community Facilities, Program Standards, and Parks Maintenance. Each participant was provided a code name, including Participant–1 (P–1) to Participant–16 (P–16). The participants were from the area known as the Golden Horseshoe region, ranging from Niagara Falls to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Municipal workers are making adaptations to maintain grass-based sports fields due to changing weather conditions that could be related to climate change. These impacts involved two key areas: seasons that were not normal as well as new pests and disease. The participants outlined their adaptations, which involved five key sport field maintenance themes. Importantly, a central question was raised as a debate topic for establishing the future directions for grass-based sports fields in times of climate change.