Go 'green'er with synthetic turf in Club West
Foothills couple makes option possible through research, dedication
By Corinne Frayer | AFN
Last September, Mark and Kathy Wood got fed up with replacing the lawn of their Foothills Club West home and decided to turn their sprinklers off for good.
It was a decision that not only opened the eyes of the Woods, but initiated an amendment to Foothills Club West Homeowners Association's architectural guidelines to allow the installment of synthetic turf as a landscape option.
"We went from using 1,300 gallons of water a day in September, to 93 gallons a day in February," Mark said. "I said, ‘Wow, that's an awful lot of water.' I mean, holy smokes, we're just two people and two puppy dogs."
From October to February, the Woods used 263,409 fewer gallons of water than during the same five months of the previous year.
"I said, ‘We've got to do something different,' so we started looking at homes with synthetic turf," Mark said.
Wanting to avoid resorting to desert landscaping, the Woods began interviewing homeowners in Mountain Park Ranch, Lakewood and Chandler, who had installed synthetic turf. After a Lakewood homeowner suggested comparing pieces of turf from different companies to ensure the best quality, the Woods did their research and ultimately decided on the Chandler-based company ForeverLawn, Inc.
The Woods expected the turf, being realistic-looking, durable, pet and child friendly, non toxic, perforated and non flammable, would easily be approved by their HOA.
They quickly learned otherwise.
"Mark talked to Brenda Brunette (Foothills Club West Master Association manager) and she said, ‘This is what you need to do,'" Kathy said. "We did it, got a letter back, denied."
Disappointed, the Woods attended an HOA board meeting with a ForeverLawn representative. They also gathered feedback from neighbors for additional support of their request.
"We're persistent with things we believe in," Mark said. "When I saw synthetic turf that was four years old, I was blown away."
The turf samples were also what grabbed the board's attention, Brunette said.
"In the letter of denial, the verbiage was very encouraging. The samples provoked thought."
On March 20, the board finally adopted the Artificial Turf Guidelines Amendment, and granted the Woods permission to go ahead with installation. By April 10, the Woods had a new 810-square-foot "green" lawn.
The HOA has even talked about installing synthetic turf in its park, board vice president Mick McLaughlin said.
"This is a good thing all the way around."
For more information on ForeverLawn synthetic turf, visit www.foreverlawnaz.com.