After over 100 inches of snow this season, Fenway Park groundskeepers are fighting winter with science.

Instead of shoveling the Boston stadium, which would likely damage the field just a month before the Red Sox home-opener, they applied a thin layer of black sand to help melt away the nearly-record-breaking season of snow.

Dark things, of course, absorb solar radiation (and heat up) more efficiently than lighter-colors. The “albedo effect” is why the asphalt gets so darn hot in the summer, and why you should wear light-reflecting white to help you keep cool.

“Our first option to work on the snow is to throw black sand on top of the snow with a shovel,” said Fenway groundskeeper David Mellor on Instagram. “This is a less aggressive and a more grass friendly option than shoveling, plowing or loading the snow off the field. The black sand absorbs heat from the sun and even if the temperature is below 32 degrees as long as its sunny it will help melt the snow.”

While sand might be better for the grass, it’s not necessarily less back-breaking than shoveling snow. Mellor says that two tons of black sand were applied to the field last week, which in turn has shrunk the snow depth by over two feet. “The guys worked very hard,” wrote Mellor, “walking through deep snow carrying and throwing [approximately two tons] of black sand that day.”