(Beyond Pesticides, September 25, 2007) The Boston Red Sox announced on September 20, 2007 that the club will begin a partnership with the environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to make Fenway Park “green” through a series of initiatives to improve the environment, including the introduction of locally-grown organic food by its concessionaire. Over the next several years, fans may find themselves drinking beer out of plastic cups made with corn starch, snacking on organic produce, and participating in a “fifth inning recycling stretch.”
“Fenway Park is one of America’s most beloved buildings,” said Allen Hershkowitz, senior scientist at the NRDC and coordinator of the organization’s greening initiatives. “The tangible and important ecological steps that the Red Sox and their team sponsors are advancing will have a lasting impact. By committing to the greening of this historic building, the Red Sox organization is showing leadership that reaches far beyond the game of baseball. The Red Sox are demonstrating that every organization can make a difference by joining in our collective efforts to combat global warming, bio-diversity loss, and other ecological ills. “
Giving a second meaning to the “Green Monster” (the ballpark’s well-known left field wall), efforts to make Fenway more environmentally-conscious will include a recycling program, introduction of locally grown organic produce, and the consideration of solar panels to reduce energy consumption. These initiatives, and others, will take place over the next five years, culminating in 2012, when baseball celebrates the 100th anniversary of the nation’s oldest Major League ballpark.
“We are not only committed to preserving the history, beauty, and integrity of Fenway Park, but we are also determined to enhance the park’s environmental attributes so it can serve our team, our fans, and our community in the 21st century as well as it did in the 20th century,” said Larry Lucchino, President/CEO of the Red Sox. “We look forward to beginning this process with the help of some key partners.”
Aramark, the concessionaire at Fenway Park, will be responsible for making available more environmentally-friendly food products, including locally-grown organic produce, throughout the ballpark’s concession services. Pesticide activists applaud plans to offer organic food, but encourage the franchise and NRDC to take the program a step further by making Fenway Park the country’s first organically managed Major League ball field.
For more information on organic turf management, see Beyond Pesticides Lawns and Landscapes webpage.