MANCHESTER, N.H. – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats are teaming up with Stonyfield Yogurt to bring the first fully organic playing surface in professional baseball to Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
The process, which is expected to take several years to be fully completed, has already begun at the park as traditional pesticides are being phased out and replaced with organic options.
As part of their 35th anniversary, Stonyfield sought to transform 35 playing fields across country and make them fully organic, following the company’s mission of owning only fully-organic pasture land since their first pasture in Wilton, N.H.
So far 10 of the 35 fields have been found, with upcoming new projects to be announced nearby in Dover and Portsmouth, N.H. in upcoming weeks.
Stonyfield Director of Public Relations Kristina Drociak noted that the process to turn Northeast Delta Dental Stadium fully organic began as a simple conversation about advertising at the park. After further discussions, it became obvious the stadium would be a perfect fit for their mission given the fact that Stonyfield’s headquarters are only a few miles away in Londonderry.
“Not many minor league teams have the benefit of having a partner like Stonyfield, whose mission is being organic, right in their backyard,” said New Hampshire Fisher Cats President Mike Ramshaw. “It was just a perfect fit to work with.”
Although Stonyfield’s project has already helped playing fields for professional soccer teams, Drociak hopes Northeast Delta Dental Stadium’s transformation will accelerate the process for other baseball fields as well as professional sports stadiums used for other sports as well.
“Long story short, we hope this is inspiration for every team across the country to go organic,” she said. “We want to show that it can be organic and still be beautiful.”
After the initial investment, the organic commitment will actually save the Fisher Cats money as well.
For Ramshaw, the reduced costs in groundskeeping are just one benefit ranging from new marketable skills for groundskeepers to a better overall fan experience.
“Doing something different that’s the right thing to do, if we have the opportunity to do it and do it well, why not do it?,” said Ramshaw.
More information on the project, better known as the Play Free Initiative, can be found on Stonyfield’s website.