Tony Boyd and his team at the Mill Valley Public Works Department are responsible for maintaining the Mill Valley Youth Sports fields, including Friends, Bayfront, Hauke, Alto and Boyle Park.
One of the key maintenance tasks is periodically replacing the sod. A typical project, such as replacing 30% of Bayfront, used to take Tony’s 6-person team and several contractors an entire week to complete. And according to Tony, “it was backbreaking work. We had to carry the old sod off the field by hand.”
Recently, the Mill Valley Friends of Parks and Recreation purchased the Public Works Department a “Field Top Maker”, a piece of heavy equipment that makes sports field restoration easier by automatically removing and mulching the old sod and depositing it into a truck.
The Top Maker has had tremendous benefits for Tony and his team. “With the new equipment, we can complete similar jobs in only two days with 4 people,” says Tony. “And we eliminated the cost of sod removal, which was typically 20-30% of a project. We were even able to recycle the old sod as dirt for use at the dog park.
Finally, according to Tony, “The Top Maker keeps Mill Valley at the cutting edge of sports field management technology. We will definitely be able to renovate the sports fields more often--this has saved us a lot of time, money, work, and Advil!”