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Rieke Field Project
The replacement of Rieke Field under the Parks Replacement Bond included the removal and replacement of the outdated synthetic turf field with new synthetic turf specific for soccer and lacrosse. The replacement field is the same size and in the same location as the old field. The new field has improved subsurface drainage conditions within and around the perimeter of the field, and a new sub-base system was installed to correct uneven settling.
This project also provided new sports field furnishings, drinking fountain, a dedicated location for temporary restroom facilities, and provisions for future sports field lighting (poles and lights were not included in this scope). As part of PP&R’s commitment to universal accessibility, this project made improvements to pathways and access to the field from the ADA parking spaces.
We are happy to report the Rieke Field project’s construction bid came in below the engineer’s estimate. With this savings, PP&R elected to upgrade the in-fill material of the field from recycled crumb rubber fill (“SBR”) to a non-recycled/new rubber fill called ethylene propylene diene monomer (“EPDM”). This was one of the fill options we discussed at our community meetings. In selection of all our materials, PP&R is committed to the health and safety of the children and adults that regularly use our fields.
EPDM is a fairly new product for PP&R’s fields. It was recently used in the new turf soccer fields completed at Duniway and Lents Parks this past year. To most users, it will look and feel the same as the recycled SBR, and it should play similarly to the more widely used SBR.
Fall 2015 - Winter 2016
Project Set-Up and Design Consultant Contracting
Winter 2016 - Early Spring 2016
Design Process and Public Input
Summer 2016 - Fall 2016
Fall 2016 - Winter 2016/17
Permitting and Bidding
Late May 2017 - September 2017
Field Reopened for Play
October 6, 2017
Use of Artificial Turf Fields
Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) is committed to providing safe and accessible recreational opportunities for all Portlanders. To that end, we are pursuing the installation of an artificial turf (crumb rubber) field for this project, while paying close attention to the national conversation surrounding artificial turf. The safety of our fields, along with every facility we own and manage, is paramount.
PP&R has a strong interest in conclusive research on crumb rubber infill; though right now such research is not decisive. We are monitoring as more research is done, always looking for improved technologies, and we will look for opportunities to collect data ourselves. Please note that the potential health concerns surrounding synthetic fields must also be balanced with both the dangers of uneven/waterlogged/baked-dry grass fields causing falls, broken bones and/or sprains, and also with the fact that in our climate, natural fields are unsuitable for use many months of the year.
We will continue to consult with other park associations nationwide to understand any other data available, and their decisions on crumb rubber.