Fact or Fiction: The Union County College Sports Field

April 3, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Fiction: Union County College plans to build a sports complex on (the) Cranford Campus: Soccer, Lacrosse & 6 lane track
Fact: The College is building a single field, not a “complex,” with a six-lane track surrounding it. Union County College is the only community college in New Jersey that has a sports program without a home field.

Fiction: Almost 5 acres of 60 foot trees will be destroyed.
Fact: About 700 trees of various sizes on 4 acres will be removed from the area surrounding the tennis courts. As part of the College’s “Union Green” ecological campaign, the College will simultaneously plant more than 1,500 new trees around the Campus.

Fiction: College not required to get permits from Cranford Township
Fact: The College is committed to its “good neighbor” policy of sharing all plans with Cranford Township and has worked closely with the Township’s administration over the years.

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Fiction: Tree removal likely to cause additional Cranford Flooding. One 60 FT tree absorbs up (to) 10,000 gallons of water per year
Fact: The proposed field has extensive drainage and was approved by the EPA because it is a pervious surface. According to the Oxford Journal of Tree Physiology, old trees absorb less water than new trees in the same environment. By replacing old trees with more than double the number of new trees, the College will have even better drainage than currently. Moreover, the College is replacing an impervious tennis court with a pervious turf field. It’s like replacing a brick with a sponge. The field itself will disperse water directly underneath it and not into any existing water system.

Fiction: Wildlife: Home to hawks, owls, deer, & numerious (sic) bird species
Fact: Wildlife will appreciate the College’s reforesting the loss of 700 trees with 1,500 replacement trees.

Fiction: Traffic will be an issue on our residential streets
Fact: Having a field for lacrosse and soccer will generate fewer spectators (traffic) than men’s and women’s basketball, which has been on the Cranford Campus for more than 30 years.

Fiction: Will the field be leased to private/public entities?
Fact: For a College without a sports field, the priority is to serve College students first and foremost, but the field will be available on off times to the community.

Fiction: Will the field have lights?
Fact: Any lighting will comply with the Township’s “lights out” ordinance. In addition, the tree buffer of at least 48-feet deep would shield the impact of any lighting.

Fiction: Noise issues: Starter pistols, whistles, 100’s of people, PA system?
Fact: Given that the College will ensure that a buffer of trees remains between the field and the neighborhood, the ambient sounds of whistles, etc. will be negligible.

Fiction: What will happen to our property values?
Fact: Property values in Cranford were affected by Hurricane Irene. Dozens of College student-athletes came to the aid of flooded-out residents. The College also opened its doors to residents without power and hot water. Having a “good neighbor” college like Union can only increase property values.

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