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“It’s just too hot": Folks question artificial turf for $2M Ft Myers Beach reno

Fake grass that is too hot to walk on isn't the only thing beach-goers were questioning in plans for Crescent Beach Family Park
Posted at 7:20 AM, Jun 25, 2024

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — Crescent Beach Family Park will soon see major changes after the county commission unanimously approved plans to replace the existing sand with artificial turf. The beachside park was known for its volleyball courts, grassy picnic areas, and shade covers.

Crescent Beach Family Park prior to Hurricane Ian

The new design, which includes sidewalks and predominantly artificial turf, has sparked mixed reactions from beachgoers.

New plan for Crescent Beach Family Park

“Artificial turf is going to be really hot,” one beachgoer commented.

“You’ll need shoes to walk on it and a towel if you want to lay down,” said Chris Dagge, owner of Overall Outdoor Services.

Robert Lizarraga, a project manager at Artificial Turf Factory Outlet, added, “Turf is going to get warm, especially in direct sunlight, although specific infills can help cool it by up to 30 degrees.”

Martin Bartow, owner of Moto Property Management, also validated the heat concerns, “You pretty much can’t walk across it barefoot or have your dog on it for six months of the year. It’s just too hot; this is plastic.”

The renovation plan, which is nearly double the cost of restoring the park to its former state, will cost over $2 million, with federal funding covering half. While the heat of the artificial turf is a major concern, it’s not the only issue. The removal of the beach volleyball courts has also disappointed visitors.

“I love volleyball, especially on the beach,” said Zoe Williams, a frequent park visitor. “We were just playing, but it would be fun to actually have a net.”

Katelyn Yager added, “It’s pretty popular for a lot of us younger adults to have fun, especially when there’s a big group of us.”

The design and permitting process for the project is expected to take about a year. Once completed, work will begin on transforming Crescent Beach Family Park.