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fieldhockey3Scarsdale fall sports teams have been scrambling to secure field space after the abrupt closing of the Butler turf field just days before the start of the season. The turf field, the epicenter of Raider spirit during fall pre-season, is shared by girls field hockey, girls soccer, and boys soccer.

Concerns about the vitality of Butler field are not new. Over the past few years, Scarsdale’s Maroon and White organization had been campaigning to replace the 10 year-old turf, with plans to start renovation once the fall season was over. But as preseason approached, it became clear that it was not safe for fall athletes to play on the field. Athletic Director Ray Pappalardi sent a note to the Scarsdale community to announce the closing, emphasizing key safety concerns:

-At every five-yard line, the field level changes.
-There are several locations on the field where the level changes more severely.
-Where the pre-construction borings were performed, the surface cannot be repaired completely; the turf is too old and worn.
-After each hard rain, more low spots appear, infill aggregates, and playing conditions continue to degrade.

So, where does this closing leave the athletes? For one thing, they must wake up early. With a lack of available field spaces, teams like soccer and field hockey utilize turf whenever they can. Girls field hockey players uses Edgemont’s turf weekly at 6 am, and the girls soccer team woke up at six am during pre-season to use field space at Fox Meadow Elementary School.

A sentiment of frustration is also present among fall athletes. Some athletes feel that actions should have been taken sooner to solve the turf issue, and it should not have come at the cost of an entire fall season. Senior soccer Captain Allison Stafford noted, “If there was considered to be any risk that Butler Field would not be suitable for play this fall, it should have been replaced this summer.” Senior field hockey star Sam Felder felt similarly, saying, “it’s frustrating that the turf has been in such bad condition for so long and nothing was done about it and now our season is suffering as a result.”

The field hockey team is especially impacted by the turf closing. The sport, which requires a fast moving ball to ensure high-level play, is almost always played on astroturf. With grass fields being the only available options in Scarsdale, players are having a difficult time adjusting. The team practices mostly at Scarsdale Middle School, periodically busing to Edgemont turf when a time slot becomes available. Felder noted that playing on the grass makes the ball move “painfully slow,” with a pass that would have moved 50 yards on the turf moving 20 yards on the grass. As a senior leader, Felder believes that a lack of turf practice will affect the freshmen the most, as many of them are just learning how to play the game. Lastly, the constant switch between grass and turf could leave the raiders at a disadvantage when playing against opponents on their home turfs.

The turf field is a symbol of Raider pride during the fall season. Students flock excitedly to support their fall teams under the rented lights during night games. The bleachers allow room for a “raider rooting” cheering section. Stafford emphasized that her and her teammates were really looking forward to playing home games on the turf because “they bring a lot of excitement, and the loud fans cheering us on in the stands always hypes up the team.” Without Butler to play on, Stafford is disappointed that “the other seniors and I will not have the opportunity to play in that kind of environment during our last high school season.”

outdoormovienightThis letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 by the Friends of Scarsdale Library:
Dear Scarsdale:
The Friends of the Scarsdale Library are thrilled to announce Community Movie Night which will take place at Crossway Field on Friday, September 7th at 7:30pm. Dinner and dessert can be purchased from one of the Food Trucks starting at 6:30pm and Back to the Future will be shown at 7:30pm.

Admission to the movie is free and popcorn, blankets and frisbees will be for sale on site. Lawn games will be available for kids to have some pre-movie enjoyment. Members of the community will also have the opportunity to become a Friend of the Scarsdale Library or renew their commitment with a donation of $25 or more.

Click here to become a Friend of the Library today.

This will be a fun evening for folks of all ages! Kids under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Cars can be parked at Crossway or by the pool. No alcohol permitted.

The residents of Scarsdale have generously supported the future of the Scarsdale Library, and the Friends are excited for the chance to give back with this amazing event!
Movie Night

ShakeShackThough many people are out of town, we took a trip around town to see what August had to hold.

First, we noticed that a large Shake Shack is opening in the Dalewood Shopping Center on Central Avenue in front to HMart. That should be welcome news for burger lovers as Shake Shack's burgers are made from 100% all-natural Angus beef, with no antibiotics or hormones. Shake Shack also offers crispy chicken sandwiches, flat top hot dogs and cheese fries. For dessert there’s rich and creamy frozen custard with a mouthwatering choice of topping like dark chocolate chunks, chocolate truffle cookie dough and Doughnut Plant doughnuts.

Hand-spun shakes come in vanilla, chocolate, caramel, black & white, strawberry, peanut butter or coffee Fair Shake. To drink the menu includes shack-made lemonade, beer, and red and white wine. Don’t forget their breakfast sandwiches too.

I have a feeling we will all be hanging out on Central Avenue soon!

MixologyVestsFur trimmed vests at MixologyIn Scarsdale Village, it looks like the new bookstore is planning a late summer opening, and we’re hopeful that we'll welcome Bronx River Bookstore to Spencer Place by the end of the month.

We found some intriguing sales of summer merchandise and great new looks for the fall.

At Mixology on Spencer Place, we spotted these cool camouflage or silver vests with fur-trimmed hoods that will be fun for cooler weather. Mixology is hosting a series of designer trunk shows at their Rye Brook and Scarsdale stores throughout August. Stop by to see what’s in for Back to School.

There were many busy shoppers and tables loaded with sale LFSalemerchandise at LF on Harwood Court, where they are now offering up to 70% off on their spring and summer collection. Find denim shorts and skirts, jean, knit tees, playsuits, sweaters, woven tops and more. Just plowing through the merchandise is a good way to beat the heat.

LFMerchandiseSort through the sale merchandise at LFPookie and Sebastian on East Parkway is offering up to 75% off their summer goods and already has a nice collection for fall featured in the front of the store. Get a good deal on summer whites and cottons or try on knit sweaters, fur vests, leather jackets and and an appealing mix of tops, pants and sweaters in taupe, gray, khaki and mauve for fall.
pookiesalePookie and Sebastian

I Am More on Spencer Place also has a summer sale in progress. We liked this display of silky camis paired with cut off denim shorts. They also have a rack of jeans on sale.I am moreCamis and cut-offs on sale at I Am More Scarsdale

pookiefallFall colors at Pookie and Sebastian

The Dark Horse, a unique gift shop appears to be running their summer sale on Harwood Court.


darkhorse A summer sale is in progress at The Dark Horse


Organic LawnMany residents have asked how to switch to organic landscaping on their property. The Conservation Advisory Council has put together this brief overview on what it means to use organic landscaping, how to make the switch and where to find more information.

Organic landscaping uses natural products to feed lawns and help plants grow rather than using synthetic chemicals. There are also many natural ways to protect your landscape from weeds and harmful insects instead of chemical herbicides and pesticides.

For many years, Scarsdale schools, Village parks and fields, and many homes have been using organic landscaping. In the case of the schools, New York State banned the use of pesticides on school property due to safety concerns for the kids being exposed to such chemicals.

How do I know if I receive chemical or organic treatments? The easiest way to spot a chemical application is if your landscaper places a small yellow sign at the edge of your lawn. These little yellow signs, which are required by law, indicate that a chemical fertilizer or pesticide was applied and that people and pets must stay off the lawn. You can also determine if you are receiving chemical applications by looking at your landscaping invoices. Look for terms such as pesticide, insecticide, herbicide, weed killer, pre-emergent and fertilizer. If the products don’t clearly state they are organic they most likely are not. Your landscaper (or garden center if you purchase your own products) should be able to tell you whether a product is a conventional chemical or organic. Oftentimes, however, their answers can be convoluted. You may hear responses such as “everything we use is safe;” “we use just the minimum of what is needed;” or “our staff is properly trained for applying the product.” If you don’t get a straight answer, you should assume that what is being used is a non-organic product.

How do I make the switch to organic treatments? There are now many natural alternatives that will keep your lawn green, plants growing and, most importantly, keep you, your pets and the environment healthy and safe. If you use a landscaper, consider asking your landscaper what organic options they have available. They should be able to explain the types of organic products used and the cost should be reasonable. If you are concerned with any answers, or if your landscaper does not offer an organic lawn care program, consider using your current landscaper only for weekly maintenance (mowing and pruning) and hiring an organic company for fertilizer and other seasonal applications. There is also the option of switching to a full service organic lawn care company for both maintenance and applications.

Organic landscaping options for those who use a landscaper:

  • Option #1: Keep your existing landscaper and have them switch to organic products. Keep an eye out for yellow signs which will appear if they apply synthetic chemicals to your property by mistake.
  • Option #2: Keep your existing landscaper for weekly maintenance items (mowing, pruning, etc.) and use an organic company for all fertilizer and other applications.
  • Option #3: Switch everything to an organic landscape company.

Going organic if you do your own landscaping:

  • Switch all applications to organic products; talk to the salespeople at your garden center to find the right organic products for your needs.
  • Ensure proper timing of applications. Timing is more important with organics than conventional products. For example, corn gluten, which is used as both a fertilizer and weed preventer, should be applied when soil temperature (4’’ down) is 55 degrees – usually in early spring.

What should my expectations be in switching to organic landscaping?
Switching from a chemical to an organic based landscaping program may require a few seasons to fully transition. During the first couple of years you may have to contend with some weeds in the lawn. However, your lawn and plants will thrive after a few seasons and be healthier and stronger.

You may also find your lawn will have more clover with their green petals and small white flowers in the lawn. The benefit of clover is that it provides a natural fertilizer to your lawn - clover generates nutrients which fertilize your soil and grass.

Overall an organic lawn will look just as good as a lawn treated with chemicals, but be healthier for us and the environment.

What is the cost difference between conventional and organic treatments?
Organic treatments tend to be more costly than synthetic and chemical treatments in the short term but are more cost effective in the long term. Organic landscaping creates healthy soil which leads to a healthier landscape. This healthier landscape will require less reseeding, watering and plant replacement in the long-term.

Why should I switch?
There are a number of health and safety concerns linked to commonly used chemical pesticides. These chemicals harm people, pets, local wildlife and are damaging to the environment. While many countries have banned certain chemicals that are still widely used in the US, we can do something about it in our community without waiting for our lawmakers to catch up.

Before allowing your landscaper to introduce these toxic substances into your landscape, consider whether they are really necessary. Consider also that they do not just stay on your property. Rain washes these substances onto your neighbors’ property and into storm drains which lead to local waterways. Sprays can be carried by the wind and breathed in by people and pets nearby. These chemicals are also brought into our homes on our shoes and by our pets.

What if I have an issue that requires a chemical application?
There may be times when a spot chemical application is needed. Talk with an organic landscaper or arborist to see what your options are. An organic option may be available. Even if chemicals are needed in a specific instance, not all chemical applications are the same, and in many instances a less harmful option may be available.

Each property will have different needs – but make it clear to your landscaper that you want to use the least amount of pesticides possible.

What other steps could I take to promote a healthy and safe landscape?
As part of switching to organic landscaping, there are a number of other easy changes you can make to your landscape management.

Mow high and water deeply twice a week, both of which promote deeper roots and help grass tolerate the hot summer. Leave grass clippings on the lawn thereby providing both moisture and natural fertilizer. In the fall, mulch fallen leaves by mowing over them and leaving the little pieces where they fall. The small pieces of leaves will quickly settle into the grass and nourish the soil below. Seed the lawn in autumn to allow grass to crowd out weeds.

Consider native plants which are common to our area, or other areas in the Northeast. They are acclimated to our local climate and are often resistant to common insects and are less likely to be damaged by them. All the local nurseries carry native plants and some have whole sections devoted to native plants.

If you want your yard to help support local wildlife, add beneficial plants such as milkweed to help Monarch butterflies and shrubs with berries that attract birds.

Organic lawn care gives us a beautiful, healthy and thriving landscape, and is also better for us, our pets, wildlife and the environment. Please consider making the switch!

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