Mel Nunes Sportsfield Park

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  Mel Nunes Sportsfield Park


City of Newark

Project Name
Mel Nunes Sportsfield Park

Construction Inspection

APWA Northern California, Project of the Year, Structures


The $5.8M 30-acre Mel Nunes Sportsfield and Skate Park features new all weather, multipurpose turf fields, a fenced softball field with lights, outdoor restroom, walking paths, and a new 12,000 square foot (SF) skate park—the first of its kind for the City.

The addition of six acres of new synthetic turf fields and a new 12,000 SF skate park at the Mel Nunes Sportsfield was a major investment in the future health and wellbeing of the community. Prior to this project, there were no lighted fields in the City to serve the 2,000-plus member Newark Soccer Club or other youth and adult sports organizations. In addition, the park was closed each year during the winter months to protect the natural grass fields. As one of the fastest growing communities in Northern California, the City’s accessibility and availability of fields for the rapidly expanding local sports organizations was greatly impacted.

The City of Newark’s mission was to create a responsible sports complex to maximize the playable experience and usable hours while providing a “green” solution. This green solution included management of the site’s construction materials, systems, and park management. Minimizing energy consumption and the carbon footprint through maintenance practices was also key.

Various alternatives to the existing natural grass fields were considered during design. The existing grass fields were not sustainable. They required over 1.15 million gallons of water annually, a heavy-duty maintenance program of aerating, over seeding and fertilizing, additional staff, tools, and gas-powered vehicles. This increased the carbon footprint and added ongoing maintenance costs. The City selected state-of-the-art, sustainable, and ecologically sound synthetic turf as the playing surface for the new sports fields. The fields and skatepark are lit with the latest LED sports lighting, reducing energy consumption and minimizing light wash onto adjacent properties. Plant materials are native, drought tolerant, and have “low” WUCOLS water requirements. Irrigation is supplied by a water conserving rotor, drip, and bubbler system. Most of the irrigation components were re-used from the fields and perimeter landscaping. The landscape and irrigation comply with the State’s Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance, Green Book, and Bay Friendly Landscape Guidelines.

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