Turning Balls into Turf
THIS PROJECT IS NO LONGER ACTIVE. OUR PARTNER IS NO LONGER ACCEPTING TENNIS BALLS FOR RECYCLING
Working with IGK Equestrian, Project Green Ball developed a method and an application for crushing tennis balls and adding the balls as a component of horse arena turf. IGK Equestrian offered a crushed tennis ball-based version of its LiteStride® turf.
Wilson Sporting Goods contributed over 50,000 balls to the equestrian turf project. Other local clubs and organizations have also contributed to this project.
In late August 2012, the Riding Center of The Dana Hall School, located in Wellesley, Massachusetts, installed the first tennis ball-based equestrian turf. The turf was manufactured by IGK Equestrian and includes around 7,000 ground tennis balls provided by Project Green Ball.
After receiving balls from Project Green Ball, IGK Equestrian ground the tennis balls:
Then created a pre-mixture of the ground tennis balls and IGK Equestrian’s soil:
Then the balls and soil were fully mixed to create IGK Equestrian’s “Grand Slam Footing”:
And finally, the footing was laid out in Dana Hall’s arena and ready for use:
In exchange for organizing the collection of 200,000 balls, IGK Equestrian agreed to donate a ball-based equestrian surface to a therapeutic riding center servicing people with disabilities or suffering from life threatening diseases.
A second ball-based equestrian turf with over 45,000 tennis balls was installed at EquiCenter, Inc. in January, 2014. Located in Honeoye Falls, NY, EquiCenter fosters the personal growth and individual achievement of people with disabilities, at-risk youth, Veterans, and their families using a wide range of therapeutic equestrian activities. Project Green Ball facilitated a $10,000 grant from the UPS Foundation to EquiCenter which was used to purchase the ball-based turf for their indoor riding arena.
In late August 2014 we collected our 200,000th ball. After discussion and evaluation of a number of therapeutic riding programs, we worked with IGK Equestrian to donate our first riding surface to The Shared Living Collaborative (SLC) in Merrimac, Massachusetts. The SLC provides a variety of foster-care, in-home, day and residential services to children and adults with developmental disabilities primarily in the Merrimack Valley area. The SLC embraces principles of sustainability, social and environmental responsibility, and holds the belief that everyone, regardless of challenges encountered, can live a productive, bountiful, and fulfilled life embedded in the community and every facet of society. The SLC strongly believes and incorporates principles and activities grounded in Eco Therapy such as Therapeutic Horseback Riding, Hippo Therapy, Equine Assisted Learning, and Carriage Driving.
In September, 2015 the new ball based riding surface was installed at The Shared Living Collaborative in Merrimac, MA. The new surface pictured below holds more than 100,000 dead tennis balls!