U breaks ground for turfgrass facility

University and industry officials broke ground Thursday on a new 16-acre Turfgrass Research, Outreach and Education center in St. Paul.

Philip Larsen, associate dean for research in the College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Science, said he believes the project will serve as a premier research and learning facility.

The center is located in the northeast corner of the St. Paul campus, on the corner of Cleveland and Larpentuer avenues. Prior to its turf-testing incarnation, it was used for cattle grazing. Once converted, it will be suited for breeding and experimenting on turf grass.

The center will greatly expand the University’s turfgrass research capacity. One study already slated to take place at the new site will focus on the environmental effects of phosphorus fertilizer.

Several private sources are sponsoring the plot’s development. Larsen thanked them Thursday.

“We will listen to your needs,” Larsen said.

Earlier Thursday, more than 100 representatives of turf-related industries attending the groundbreaking viewed exhibitions of the latest University turf research. Topics included water conservation, insect management and disease control.

– Dan Haugen