Working hard to keep the grass green at Memorial Stadium

Monday is the first of four off days the Boise Hawks have sprinkled in during the season. But Director of Facilities Jeff Israel is still working, and is focused on the field.

"It's a lot more than just irrigation," Israel said. "Managing the water so you don't get too much or too little."

Israel has been on the job for about one year and already has picked up on what other parks do. The good and the bad.

"Some places, they will have the visitors' bullpen a little steeper or not as steep as the field mound," he said. "They try to throw off the visiting team a little bit."

Israel says the wind affects the grounds more than heat, but it's always about water.

"It really comes down to water management for the field, infield and warning tracks," he said.

When you are at the stadium before players and fans arrive and after they leave, you are bound to see other spectators.

"There's kind of a little microsystem of wildlife that nobody knows about," Israel says, talking about birds, deer and cats that have visited Memorial Stadium.

Israel oversees a staff of six. It's made up of mostly high-school students looking for summer work.

"It makes them realize they want to go to college and get a desk job so they are not dumping nacho cheese in the dumpster."

As for his own lawn, Israel says it's 'pretty embarrassing.'