POMONA, N.Y. -- You think you've got a big lawn?
Ever think about the mowing manpower it takes to keep the grounds green and baseball game-ready at Provident Bank Park?
Turns out it's a pretty tireless job, one performed by groundskeeper Pete Lawless, who can spend up to eight hours a day caring for the acre and a half inside the ballpark, and another two acres outside the stadium, on the diesel-powered Toro Reel mower.
During the Boulders' season (which runs through mid September each year), it's a job that lasts from seven in the morning to the end of the game at night.
"Sometimes we mow four times a day, depending on the number of games played," said Lawless. "We mow 360 days a year; and then for 65 days during winter, the right field is an ice rink."
Greening the grass is serious business. Each year the groundskeeper sends soil samples to Rutgers University to analyze whether important minerals such as iron or calcium are deficient. Lawless relies on the reports to know which fertilizers need to be used. Environmentally-friendly fertilizers, which is good.
The field is fully irrigated, making wind the biggest challenge. Although sometimes mechanical failure impedes perfection. "Sometimes we have some brown spot because a sprinkler isn't working," said Lawless.
But for the most park, the grass is as green as Ireland.
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