Replacing grass with artificial turf can save water and money, but may be too hot for summer fun. Researchers from UNLV and the Desert Research Institute (DRI) found that the maximum surface temperature of green artificial turfgrass was about 69 degrees higher than irrigated natural grass. The study recorded surface temperatures as high as 169 degrees -- 46 degrees higher than what is considered safe.
"Green artificial turfgrass reacted much more quickly to solar radiation than did any other surface in our study, including concrete, asphalt, natural grass, and white artificial turfgrass," said Dale Devitt, professor of soil and water.
Devitt notes that this study is not a rationale against the use of artificial turfgrass, but rather a caveat to park managers. He encourages them to consider using more reflective colors to minimize surface temperatures.
The study was published in the Journal of Turfgrass and Sports Surface Science and was funded in part by the city of Las Vegas.