An effort by residents to prevent the replacement of Woodstock High School's natural turf playing field with an artificial one.

An organization called WHS Home Turf Campaign or WHS Renaissance has sought pledges to replace the playing field at Woodstock High School (South street campus) with an artificial one. WHS Athletic Director Glen Wilson does deserve a great deal of credit for leading the charge to collect pledges to subsidize the first phase and those that have pledged should be applauded as well.  Pledges in the amount of $800,000 or more have been collected thus far, mostly from a handful of donors.


We encourage you to visit their site (linked above) to fully understand their position, in their own words.

The Situation

Sign our online petition!

The issues as we see them, in summary.

  1. Safety: Crumb Rubber and the players on the field - The crumb rubber material is made from recycled tire rubber and may contain any number of compounds that could be harmful to the health of the children that play on the field. Players will come into contact with the rubber, inhale the gasses coming off of it and potentially even ingest it. Injuries sustained on the field might carry the crumb rubber into the cut or abrasion. Los Angeles and New York city have ceased installation of any turf fields due to concerns over their safety.
  2. Safety: Crumb Rubber and ground water - As the material breaks down and enters the ground water, risks may extend to the greater area. The field will contain approximately 100 tons of recycled tire crumb rubber.
  3. Safety: Design - The width of the field may meet minimum standards, but many feel that it leaves too little room on the sidelines for players to slow down and transition off the playing area safely.
  4. Safety: Burns - On a sunny day, temperatures on the surface of crumb rubber fields have been recorded as high as 170 degrees. Students that suffer injuries on the field will have to lie on the hot field until medical arrives to move them off. Ambulances will no longer be permitted to drive on the field.
  5. Cost: Phase 1 project - (Roughly $950,000) While the organization has found a number of donors pledging hundreds of thousands of dollars, there is a difference between pledges and dollars in the bank. We believe that it would be unwise to move forward with approval of the project without having the pledged money in-hand.
  6. Cost: Phase 2 project - (Cost not known specifically, but likely as much or more than phase 1) There has been no discussion as to how to pay for phase 2.
  7. Cost: Ongoing - The field will have a useable lifespan of about 10 years and will have a replacement cost of about $500,000. Think of this as adding $50,000 per year to the cost of the field over and above routine maintenance.
  8. Cost: Overall - With the state our state is in terms of debt and the fact that McHenry County is in the top 1% most expensive counties in the country in terms of owner occupied property tax, should we really take on more financial obligations?
  9. Access: Only students involved in the activities supported by the field will benefit. Even if you assume that all initial costs would be borne by donors, that still leaves approximately $50,000 per year that the school must provide to prepare to replace the field. An expense of that magnitude could mean cutting academics, arts, routine building maintenance or other programs in oder to make budget. This could cause a negative impact to all students for the benefit of a few.


Given the known and unknown hazards of crumb ruber and the known expense of the turf field, we suggest that the plan be shelved and that the organization consider approaching the donors for permission to use the funds for academic benefit.

Supporting resources


Take Action

Attend the Next Meeting


When: Wednesday, July 8th, 7:00 PM

Where: Clay Academy, 112 Grove Street


Be prepared to speak, even if all you say is that you oppose the field rennovations being proposed.



Contact the Board

Board of Education

Woodstock Community Unit School District 200

227 West Judd Street

Woodstock, IL 60098


By Phone

(815) 338-8200


By Fax

(815) 338-2005


By Email




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