Drake Field is suffering a trampling effect. It impedes grass growth in the spring when the snow melts and leaves streaks of bare ground, unappealing to the eyes and less useful for recreational activities.
Students living on and off the UW-La Crosse campus are constantly looking for faster ways to get to class, the dining hall or whatever their destination might be. In the warmer months, Drake Field is a popular path to take in order to shave a couple seconds off of travel time. In the middle of winter, with deep snow, there develops a highway of crisscrossing paths. The paths are uneven, but one can make it across the field with little or no snow on his or her shoes and legs.
“It’s not our job to keep the grass nice” says one student, while another says, “I don’t want to get in trouble and it’s not a big deal to take ten extra seconds to get to class, so I avoid Drake Field.”
A shortcut seems like the perfect solution, but a large pile of snow, blocking one of the most used paths, appeared on the morning of February 2nd. This did not stop students from carving out an alternate route. The consequences are not immediate because they affect the grass beneath the trampled snow. Only time will tell whether the short cuts cause enough damage to the grass to deter short cutters in the coming years.