Larry Fink Memorial Park Baseball Field Improvements

Are any trees going to be removed?

No trees will be removed as part of this project.

Aside from the synthetic turf, what other drainage improvements are being made?

The synthetic turf field will drain to a naturalized area just beyond the right-field foul line. The design may also include expanding the existing naturalized area and enhancing the plantings to better manage any additional stormwater.  To impact the existing field as little as possible we have not added additional drainage improvements.

Can’t kids get hurt playing on an artificial field?

The overall safety of the synthetic turf is the predictability and consistency of play.  There are no bad hops or dips or holes that can cause injuries. 

Don’t artificial turf fields get hot?

Unlike black crumb rubber fill that absorbs the heat, the green color of the EPDM (ethylene propylene, diene monomer) infill will help reduce the heat.

How large is the planned turf field?

The Larry Fink Park baseball field renovation is planned to have approximately ½ of an acre of synthetic in-field turf. Comparatively, Lake Forest has about 10 acres.

How long will the new field last?

Synthetic turf has a lifespan of about 10 years.

Why do we need an artificial turf field?

Unfortunately, our fields are situated on floodplains and as they are currently designed are frequently unusable due to constant flooding.  This results in frequent game cancellations for teams who are sometimes unable to finish the season. It’s disappointing to the ballplayers, their families, the coaches, and fans.

Synthetic turf will solve that problem, adding more than three times the number of playing hours yearly and reducing the field’s maintenance costs by 50%. The average lifespan of the new turf will provide these benefits for ten years or more.

The new turf infield will significantly improve playability & recovery time after storms and add flexibility to serve multiple age groups. The new field will make Highland Park competitive with our North Shore neighbors. 

Will lighting be added?

Lighting will not be added at this time. The existing field lighting will remain.

Will this project be complete before baseball season?

The goal is to complete construction by the end of June 2024. Depending on the growing season needed to repair the grass once the turf is replaced, the field may or may not be used for part of the 2024 baseball season.


ethylene propylene, diene monomer

Are there any EPA or OSHA standards to consider?

No, EPDM (ethylene propylene, diene monomer) is not regulated or tracked by the EPA because it is not designated as harmful.

Are there any medical concerns known to be related to EPDM?

Because of its composition as a coated material, there is minimal risk of inhalation, ingestion, absorption, or migration.  EPDM is used in potable water applications, meaning EPDM seals are present in all municipal drinking water systems including faucets used inside the home.  

Doesn’t the fill pose major health risks?

The EPDM (ethylene propylene, diene monomer) fill used in the Fink baseball field is a non-toxic material that is recyclable and reuseable. 

Have there been any tests for chemical emissions from the fill materials? Who conducted the tests? What were the results?

Toxicology tests were done on EPDM (ethylene propylene, diene monomer) by an independent lab using the EPA Method 6010 standard – testing for the presence of heavy metals, hydrocarbons, and phthalates(fal-ates).   No harmful emissions were found.

What is the fill you plan to use at Fink?

The fill is EPDM (ethylene propylene, diene monomer), it is a non-toxic plastic rubber that is widely used in our everyday life from weather stripping, flooring to playground surfacing.   It is also recyclable and reusable and has high resistance to abrasion and wear. 

Won’t the fill end up in the river?

The project drainage has been approved by the City of Highland Park and the Lake County Stormwater Commission and meets all requirements.