Project EverGreen praises volunteers’ staying power

A Project EverGreen volunteer applies fertilizer recently to a field at the Cleveland recreation center. Photo: Project EverGreenA Project EverGreen volunteer applies fertilizer recently to a field at the Cleveland recreation center.
Photo: Project EverGreen

When Project EverGreen volunteers first tackled the job of renovating playing surfaces at the city of Cleveland’s Michael J. Zone Recreation Center in October 2014, they knew they had a challenge in front of them.

The center’s 60-by-120-yard soccer field, which is used by neighborhood youth and adult sports teams, was in need of some turf TLC. The field needed to be aerated, fertilized and over seeded. Rocks and bricks embedded in the soil needed to be removed.

Local green industry contractors, including Morton’s Landscape, Schill Grounds Management, Weed Pro and Weed Man, pitched in to restore the important community gathering space into a safe place to compete and connect.

But the job – with an estimated value of $15,000 – wasn’t done after last year’s efforts. Restoring and maintaining the center’s playing surfaces required an ongoing commitment.

Since last fall’s initial effort, Project EverGreen and its volunteer partners have demonstrated they’re committed to the long haul in Cleveland.

In recent weeks, volunteers from Weed Man aerated, over seeded the center’s soccer fields and applied top dressing, weed control and fertilizer.

“The ongoing commitment to this initiative underscores the core objectives Project EverGreen and its volunteer partners stand for, and that is to develop managed green spaces to help communities thrive,” says Cindy Code, executive director of Project EverGreen. “Our goal is to ensure children have access to green space to play and exercise.”

Studies have confirmed there is significant value in having children spend time outdoors playing. Project EverGreen’s “Healthy Turf. Healthy Kids.” initiative was created to renovate and revitalize parks and athletic fields nationwide to ensure children have access to safe green spaces.

Yards, parks and athletic fields not only promote a healthier lifestyle but contribute to economic growth, community development and benefit the environment.

Renovation projects have targeted numerous cities across the United States this year, including San Antonio, Fort Worth and Round Rock, Texas; Atlanta; Cleveland; Chicago; Minneapolis; Raleigh, Durham and Greensboro, North Carolina; Milwaukee; and Portland, Oregon.

Major contributors to the nationwide initiative include the Dominion Foundation, Performance Nutrition and the Sports Turf Managers Association.

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