The Green Monster has Gotten Greener

Teresa Olson
By Teresa Olson June 9, 2015 13:43

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Fenway Park hosted its first professional baseball game on April 20, 1912.  The Red Sox beat the NY Highlanders (later known as the Yankees) 7-6 in 11 innings, and this victory would have made the newspapers if it weren’t for the sinking of the Titanic a few days earlier.  In that year, the left and right field bleachers were not yet completed – only a right-field grandstand and the main grandstand which still exists today.  Over the years many changes have taken place for this iconic stadium, including a massive roof renovation from 1982-1983.  2011 marked the final years of major improvements to Fenway in order to protect and preserve the park for future generations.

But in 2015, Chris Knight, Fenway’s manager of facilities maintenance approached Mark Winterer of Recover Green Roofs about an extensive green roof using sedum which is a type of perennial flowering plant.  A lot of planning went into this 5,000-square foot space behind Gate A, but it was up and running by opening day on April 13th.  The project came in at about $200,000.

Fenway Park - Fenway Farms

Here are some interesting bits of information that I found surrounding the planning and development of Fenway Farms:

  • Winterer credits Fenway Park’s sturdy construction with making it a little easier to create the farm, stating it’s strong enough to hold the weight.  He believes the arrival  of the green roof brings a renaissance in building better buildings (instead of being built to bare minimum standards).
  • Besides weight-bearing ability, two other necessities are good waterproofing capacity and space that meets safety requirements (for the most part, enough ways to safely get off the roof).
  • So that water would not be wasted, and nutrients flushed down the drains, an on-demand smart drip irrigation system was designed which delivers water directly to the roots.
  • This system collects various data to determine when to irrigate, and it’s connected to a website where it can be monitored remotely.  It even gives warnings via I-phone if there’s a problem.
  • Fenway Farms is expected to produce about 4,000 pounds of organic fruits and vegetables annually.
  • According to the Red Sox, the garden will change seasonally but staple herbs and veggies include arugula, green beans, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, lettuce, pea shoots, sweet peppers, tomatoes, basil, chives, cilantro, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary and thyme.
  • The plan is to use the garden not only to serve home-grown concessions during games and other Fenway events, but to also use it to educate local youth on healthy eating and the importance of environmental preservation.

Fenway actually piloted  growing tomatoes behind the pitchers mound of the bullpen back in 2008, so this may have been the “seed” that inspired Fenway Farms.  Over the years, the classic phrase “As American as Apple Pie” has embraced other things like Baseball, hotdogs, Mom and Chevrolet.  We’d better add farming to that list as well!

-Terry Olson, Titan Outlet Store Team

References:

http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/bos/ballpark/information/index.jsp?content=history

http://mlb.mlb.com/bos/fenwaypark100/features.jsp?year=2011

 

Teresa Olson
By Teresa Olson June 9, 2015 13:43
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