SOMA Justice Leadership urges all Maplewood residents to VOTE NO on the Artificial Turf Referendum (Question 3) on November 2.

Dear friends,
The leaders of SOMA Justice are writing to ask that you VOTE NO on Question 3 in the upcoming election on Nov 2. The installation of artificial turf will take away the largest green space in the Hilton Neighborhood at DeHart park field. It is the highest density Black neighborhood and lowest-income area of Maplewood, with the least amount of trees.

In the face of climate change, we believe replacing earth with plastic is short-sighted. Our concerns about artificial turf include: toxicity and water run-off, increased injuries of playing on artificial surfaces, the heat island effect of turf impacting children on the adjacent playground, and flooding increases from lack of water absorption. Reports in national outlets like the New York Times explain the disproportionate impact of heat islands and the use of hard surfaces on Black and POC communities. We consider this to be an issue of environmental justice.

We believe this vote highlights the way that local residents and community members can pull together and make a difference in the fight for environmental justice. If you want to donate to the group of community members working to spread the word about this vote, you can venmo @protectdehart. 

You can also learn more from their website at

Along with SOMA Action Climate and the Committee to Protect DeHart Park, we urge you to consider these areas of injustice, and VOTE NO on November 2.

To see how DeHart specifically is disproportionately impacted, please see: Why Protect Dehart? and Say No To Artificial Turf on Dehart Field.

Yours in solidarity,

SOMA Justice Leadership Team