Monthly Archives: July 2015

MLB Ballparks Integrating Edible Gardens Into Stadium Design

More ballparks in Major League Baseball are embracing the integration of urban farming into their structures, incorporating edible gardens into their landscaping and utilizing unused areas of their facilities to grow food for concessions and the surrounding community. In addition to the Boston Red Sox, who installed a rooftop garden as part of offseason renovations, four other MLB clubs have implemented varying strategies to grow produce on-site.


The trend began with bullpen gardening. Following in the footsteps of the New York Mets, the Atlanta Braves, and the Detroit Tigers, Red Sox pitching coach John Cumberland planted 18 beefsteak tomato plants at Fenway Park in 2001 to represent the team’s last World Series victory. The trend ramped up at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, in 2011. That spring, Petco Park director of field operations Luke Yoder planted hot peppers and tomatoes as part of an experimental garden. Since that time, San Diego has begun to rotate seasonal produce into its landscaping, which it incorporates into salsas, relishes, and other food sold throughout the ballpark.

The following year, Coors Field in Denver built a 600 square foot network of raised beds in collaboration with Colorado State University to grow organic produce using drip irrigation. Also getting in on the trend was San Francisco, where the Giants announced plans to turn the centerfield bleachers at AT&T Park into the largest on-site edible garden at a major sports venue. The 4,320 square foot garden space incorporates common vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, and zucchini with hops, lemongrass, and other exotic produce.

As more clubs embrace the sustainability benefits of growing food on-site, they are also finding ways to utilize the space to educate the public about smart eating and the benefits of gardening.  “The ballpark seats 41,500 people on a given night, and this is a garden that is highly visible,” said Hannah Schmunk, the community development manager for AT&T Park. “We’ve become so disconnected from our food, and the story behind it, and where it comes from. Because our garden is public and open to anyone that comes to a Giants game, we’re able to reconnect and reestablish the connection between people and their food.”


Read the full article here.

Green Sports Alliance President Allen Hershkowitz featured in Mother Jones

IT’S A FOGGY FEBRUARY morning in San Francisco, and a classroom full of midcareer MBA students at the Presidio Graduate School listens, rapt, as Allen Hershkowitz tells his toilet paper story.

May 4, 2015. Westchester, New York. Allen Hershkowitz poses for a portrait at his home in Westchester, NY on May 4th, 2015.Back in 2004, the Philadelphia Eagles had recently moved into a brand new stadium and wanted to become more environmentally responsible. The team reached out to him to talk about paper, one of his areas of expertise. It wasn’t exactly exciting stuff, but Hershkowitz, then a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) with a track record of taking on ambitious projects, had done his homework: The Eagles’ TP supplier was Kimberly-Clark, which was getting wood pulp from forests in the southern Appalachians that were home to, you guessed it, real-life eagles. “The people at the Eagles’ stadium were wiping their butts with eagle habitat,” he recalls. “That’s what we call a branding liability.”

Standing in front of his Business of Sports and Sustainability class in a gray wool suit with a blue dress shirt unbuttoned to reveal a silver Om pendant, Hershkowitz smiles at the memory…

Read the full article.


Famous for Its Green Monster, Fenway Hones Its Green Thumb

The New York Times

BOSTON — There’s more green at Fenway Park than the infield or the monster wall.

The Red Sox are growing vegetables and herbs in a rooftop garden. The produce is used in food and cocktails sold at the concessions, at nearby restaurants and in the team’s flagship restaurant, which prepares meals for more than 30,000 people during home games.

The 5,000-square-foot garden on the third-base side of Fenway has turned a previously unused part of the historic stadium into the largest of a handful of farms that have sprouted up in major league stadiums, said Chris Knight, manager of facilities services and planning for the Red Sox.

Ron Abell, Fenway’s senior executive chef, took advantage of the garden’s fresh produce at the ballpark’s flagship restaurant. Credit Elise Amendola/Associated Press

Ron Abell, Fenway’s senior executive chef, took advantage of the garden’s fresh produce at the ballpark’s flagship restaurant. Credit: Elise Amendola/Associated Press

The sight of a lush, green garden on the third level of the stadium excited John Bunker, a Red Sox fan who recently traveled from his home in Palermo, Me., to see his favorite team in action and make a pilgrimage to the rooftop farm.

Welcome to the Green Sports Alliance News Feed & Blog. We do our best to keep up with new and noteworthy stories in the world of green sports, but if we've missed something, please drop us a line and let us know! Use the search function below or click through our archive to find past postings.