Toxic Turf at Beaver Pond?



Beaver Pond has become the center of the synthetic turf debate.

Anna Norton, Writer

Have you ever played on the field at Beaver Pond in Franklin, MA? Many kids have. Little do they know, discarded turf from the field has been decomposing in the pond’s wetlands for over two years. 

Our Varsity Field Hockey team starts the game off strong at the Beaver Pond field. Picture from FHS SmugMug

Artificial turf is made of recycled car tires that carry chemicals such as carbon black, benzothiazole, benzene, cadmium, heavy metals, and a group of man-made chemicals called PFAS.

These chemicals are toxic to the environment and also happen to be cancerous to humans and animals. In addition to causing cancer, PFAS chemicals also cause low infant birth rates, thyroid hormone dysfunction, and negative effects on the immune system.

Those who have heard about this problem are appalled with the situation. says,

” I had no idea that turf was there and it should be fixed. I’m surprised that nothing has been done about it before!” says Franklin town resident Kaileigh Bercume

Having chemicals pollute Beaver Pond is not only bad for the environment, but violates state and federal guidelines.  The concentration of toxic chemicals in the water meet neither current federal nor state health guidelines. The rejected turf has violated wetland protections. Currently, the Franklin Town administrator is waiting to hear from the Department of Environmental Protection on what to do.

Boston Globe Article, Toxic Chemicals are Found in Blades of Artifical Turf by David Abel states that, “The findings have raised concerns about the safety of millions of square feet of artificial turf installed in recent years on public fields and playgrounds across the country.”

Varsity Field Hockey plays on their home turf against Mansfield. Picture from FHS SmugMug

Unfortunately, the pollution of Beaver Pond directly affects Franklin High school because our field hockey and lacrosse teams play on the field.

“I didn’t hear about it, but now that I do, its upsetting to hear that our town is polluting the area; and I hope in the near future there will be a resolution or cure to this problem so our town and the community inside can stay clean”, says JV field hockey player Caroline Gannon.

Due to the impact of the turf on our school, it is our job to raise awareness and clean out the polluted wetlands.

For more information, visit Toxic Chemicals are Found in Blades of Artifical Turf.