The backdrop of Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 5 is amazing. We found ourselves fortunate to be on that site in early December 2016 watching several truckloads of Safeshell (our infill product crafted from walnut shells) be installed at one of the coolest sports fields in the city.
Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of NYC’s most unique fields. Set on a pier system over the East River, this field is one of several phases in the park’s decade-long development. It’s run by a non-profit, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation who is fiercely dedicated to using organic components over its 85 acres to protect the adjacent East River.
The field development was not without its challenges. Organic infill was originally installed in winter 2013. The unique position out over the river leaves the fields at Pier 5 more exposed than a typical field to the elements. Despite proactive maintenance, this challenging condition proved too much for the original organic infill which largely disappeared from the site. Knowing that the fields would not perform well or last as long without infill supporting the turf, the search was on for a new product.
Because of our extensive knowledge of infills and understanding of what it takes for a field to perform well in this unique urban setting, USGreentech was contacted to provide a recommendation on an infill that might hold up better at this site. We mocked up two areas on the field with Envirofill and Safeshell and provided pros and cons for each. We knew that Envirofill (our acrylic-coated sand product already used throughout NYC) would be a very durable, extremely low maintenance solution that would not migrate off the field, but its synthetic components might not align with the field owner’s commitment to organics. Although our organic infill product, Safeshell, was new to the market we believed its properties would best fit the needs of the site… organic, not prone to floating or blowing away and would do well without irrigation. Agreeing that the product seemed to be a good fit, Safeshell was selected. We are thrilled with the partnership and the trust Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation placed in Safeshell and the USG team. Follow this link to view the video of the Safeshell journey from farm to field and view it in action at Pier 5.