Location :

Mooroolbark, VIC

Client :

Yarra Ranges Council

Year :


Sector :

Synthetic Turf | Soccer

Esther Park is the home of the Mooroolbark Soccer Club, which was established in 1962 (then Mooroolbark United), and fields mens, womens, boys and girls teams. Prior to the redevelopment, the facility consisted of a natural turf field used for the senior teams, and a large natural turf area used for the junior teams, which was unirrigated and had no drainage infrastructure.

The redevelopment resulted in converting the poorly serviced natural turf area into a large 100m x 90m synthetic grass tablet. The line markings on the synthetic field allowed the pitch to be divided into: 

  • A senior pitch (100m x 64m plus 3m run-offs). 
  • Three (3) 5-a-side pitches (30m x 20m). 
  • Two reduced size full pitches (90m x 47m). 


The displacement of microplastics from the synthetic surface was a critical element for this project. The proposed synthetic pitch was directly adjacent to a creek, and the drainage point of discharge was into the creek. Council was committed to providing a design that ensures no microplastic migration and the design needed to meet this requirement. 

Artificial or synthetic turf is becoming more prevalent for Field of Play surfaces. It is considered for reducing maintenance costs, water costs, providing more hours of use, and can tolerate bad weather better than natural turf. 

It is essential to understand the difference between natural and synthetic turf to choose the best option for your project.


On the other hand, more and more people are living in homes with small to no backyards, and they rely on Council sports grounds for their kids to be active outdoors. Urban densification places some of our existing Fields of Play under unsustainable stress and strain. 

That's why synthetic grass is also largely seen as a solution to urban densification. 


Interested in learning how to minimise the risk of microplastics leaving the Field of Play? 

Check out our Playbook brochure!


SPORTENG's design included the following key features to curtail microplastics from being washed downstream during a storm event: 

  • Closed pitch drainage system: use of continuous trench grates located beneath the synthetic grass system ensures no surface run-off can enter directly into the drainage network without infiltrating through the synthetic grass system (including of shock pad) 
  • Perimeter concrete upstand: a concrete upstand, located beneath the perimeter fence, will prevent infill being displaced in a large storm event. 
  • Raingarden: a raingarden has been designed at the drainage point of discharge prior to entering into the adjacent creek. All low flow storm events will be filtered through this WSUD element. 
  • Shoe grates located at all gates: shoe grates, which consist of a grate with built-in brush strips, help to capture in-fill adhered to the underside of players boots/shoes. 



The completed synthetic pitch will be a great asset for the community and will enable the club to attract new players. With a large goal storage to safely lock away the goals when not in use, the synthetic tablet will allow a high level of flexibility to cater to all levels of use. 


Melba Ward Councilor Terry Avery said: "the new surface at Esther Park is vital to be able to continue the positive momentum of the growing sports participation in the area. This project has been community driven, so it's fantastic to see their passion rewarded with a playing surface that will benefit all who use it."  


Source: Works to upgrade Esther Park playing surface close to commencing - Mirage News