Reporting Mark Rosen
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — April 1 is just three weeks away, and that’s opening day for Twins baseball.
While the players get ready in Florida, the Target Field grounds crew is working hard in Minneapolis.
Target field is covered with acres of snow, and these guys are moving all of it.
Then, two layers of turf blanket can be rolled back and the grass underneath will see the sun for the first time since last fall.
After three years of practice, the grounds crew has developed tools to get snow off the field without damaging the grass underneath.
“We have a lot of work to do without the snow, so we just need to get it off and then get the field ready and get everything game-ready for opening day,” said Nick Wilznsek, groundskeeper.
It takes half a dozen workers more than a week to clear the field.
The process starts with a walk-behind snow blower.
“His function is to kind of break up the snow so that I can push it a little easier to get it to slide,” said Ryan Rowland. “The snow is a little wet and heavy right now.”
Next, this light-weight plow moves the snow to the warning track. Then a tractor with a large snow blower puts the white stuff into these mini dump trucks.
Then the snow gets dumped where a tractor with a loader can lift it into a snow melter.
This thing is called the snow dragon, and in minutes the snow becomes water that runs down a drain.
The groundskeepers hope to get the blankets off this weekend.
The heating system under the turf will help the grass green up quickly.