Turf Replacement Starting 11/27

Hi everyone,

I wanted to let you all know that the turf replacement project will begin this week with the synthetic fields scheduled to be closed from Monday, 11/27/17, to Monday, 3/5/18.  This opening date is subject to change due to potential unforeseen delays such as rainy weather, and unforeseen site conditions.  See link for more information.


Let’s send thank you emails to Nelson Lam, Project Manager, for taking our concerns seriously and putting safety first.

Nelson Lam, Associate Civil Engineer, at NeLam@CityofBerkeley.info

Thanks everyone!



Great news! It has been a busy summer, and we have a few updates for you!
In May and June, the JPA Cities and City Councils voted in favor of the City of Berkeley’s (CoB) artificial turf recommendation at Gilman Fields. More recently, on 7/25, the Berkeley City Council also approved the CoB’s recommendation – the final step!
The new fields will be made of cork infill, dual fiber turf carpet, and shock pad. We feel that this will be a huge improvement over the current crumb rubber infill with no shock pad. The turf replacement will take place from November to February.
We are thrilled with this outcome and we could not have done this without all of your emails, petition signatures and attendance at community meetings with the CoB.
Safe Gilman Turf Coordinators

City Council Meetings

Please attend your local city council meetings (see below for schedule) to ask the council members to support the City of Berkeley’s recommendation for the GilmanFields renovation with a shock pad and cork infill. Mention that you live in their city and you hope they will support the safest option for Gilman Fields.

If you live in Berkeley, let your council members know that you support the City’s proposal, and thank them for their leadership.

City Council Meetings


Date: Monday, 6/5/2017 7:25 pm

Location: City Council Chambers
1000 San Pablo Avenue
Albany, California 94706




Date: Tuesday, 6/13/17 7:00 pm

Location: City Council Chambers

2134 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way

Berkeley, CA


El Cerrito

Date: Tuesday, 6/6/2017 7:00 pm

Location: City Hall, City Council Chambers
10890 San Pablo Ave.
El Cerrito, CA

The 6/6/17 agenda is now available http://www.el-cerrito.org/Archive/41
AND Gilman Fields info is on page 3, letter H: http://www.el-cerrito.org/Archive/ViewFile/Item/3065



Date: Tuesday, 6/6/2017 7:16pm

Location: Emeryville City Hall

1333 Park Avenue

Emeryville, CA 94608

Agenda: http://emeryville.legistar1.com/emeryville/meetings/2017/6/1465_A_City_Council_17-06-06_Agenda.pdf  (see page 4 for Gilman Field renovation)

Date: Tuesday, 6/6/2017 6:30pm

Location: City Hall, Council Hall of Justice building

440 Civic Center Plaza.


JPA Vote

Things keep moving in the right direction, but we still have more work to do! At last Wednesday’s JPA meeting, the members of the JPA voted unanimously to support the Shock Pad and Cork infill, but they could not commit to the funds without presenting the proposal to their City Councils. While we are super excited about this progress, the decision won’t be final until passed at the Berkeley City Council meeting in late July (date still pending).

Please go to your next city council meeting to ask for their support. Show them that their residents play at Gilman! We will post meeting dates early this week.

Please call or email your city council members to support the funding for the field renovation, as outlined in option 2B of the proposal! (See 5/23 post for city websites) We also may need to do some fundraising.




Mavericks Letter to JPA and City of Berkeley

2014125499f2fc1a283We are now happy to share a letter from the Mavericks Board of Directors.

Dear Members of the JPA for the Tom Bates Regional Sports Complex:

Mavericks Soccer Club is a Berkeley-based soccer club serving boys and girls, ages 9-19, and includes hundreds of families who live within the five JPA cities.  We are writing to raise our concerns regarding the condition of the Gilman fields, aka Tom Bates Regional Sports Complex.

We are aware that the JPA plans to replace the current artificial turf later this year.  We support that decision.  Later in this letter we will recommend that the JPA install a “shock pad” beneath the new turf to make the new fields safer.

But we believe there is a potentially more urgent matter.  We have been recently informed that a 2012 study of the field’s surface hardness, known as GMAX testing, concluded that sections of the field may not be within safe limits.  A GMAX rating in excess of 200 is considered unsafe.  There were two zones at the Gilman fields with GMAX ratings that exceeded 200 in 2012.  To our knowledge, no further study has been done since then.  We believe this study should be updated promptly to assess whether the fields pose an unacceptable safety risk, and if so, whether they should be closed before construction begins on the new fields.

As for the new fields, we strongly recommend that the JPA install a shock pad beneath the new turf to mitigate risks of concussions and other impact-related injuries.  There is growing data and understanding of the dangers of concussions, both to adults who use the fields but especially to our children.  We therefore believe an ethical imperative exists to mitigate these risks through currently available materials, technology and best practices, including installation of a shock pad.

In addition to making the fields safer, installation of a shock pad will allow the JPA to select an alternative to crumb-rubber infill.  While potential risks associated with crumb-rubber requires further research, the planned turf replacement, along with a shock pad, provides an opportunity to install a comparably priced “green” alternative infill.

Concussions can be permanently debilitating.  Although not all risks of injury can be eliminated from rigorous sports, the JPA has both an opportunity, and an obligation, to prioritize safety when considering the current use of the Gilman fields, and planning for the next 10+ years of use of these fields.  Therefore, we urge the JPA (1) to promptly commission an update to the 2012 GMAX study to determine whether the current fields can continue to be used safely before they are replaced; and (2) to install a shock pad beneath the new artificial turf.

Thank you.

Board of Directors, Mavericks Soccer Club


Contact your city to ask for a safe field

Will we have a safe field at Gilman?  The choice of infill material will be decided on April 27 at the next JPA meeting by these 5 cities: Berkeley, El Cerrito, Albany, Richmond and Emeryville.  Next it will go to the City Council for final approval in June. Please contact your city representatives and encourage them to support a safe and durable new playing field with non-crumb rubber and a shock pad. Email addresses below for City Clerks, who will then distribute it to appropriate city contacts.

Berkeley – Berkeley Clerk clerk@cityofberkeley.infofsave

El Cerrito – Cheryl Morse cmorse@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us

Richmond – Pamela Christian cityclerkdept@ci.richmond.ca.us

Albany – no direct email forNicole Almaguer but online form is available at http://www.albanyca.org/index.aspx?page=1376&ftitle=City+Clerk+

Emeryville – shartz@emeryville.org