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2011 Community Service Project

While efforts ranging from Let’s Move to the CDC’s new Childhood Obesity Demonstration Project urge youth to play outside to promote fitness, often kids don’t have a place to go. On October 11, that changed for Stuart-Hobson Middle School in Washington, D.C., the recipient of a new synthetic playing field donated by the STC through the generosity of our members. Representing the first industry-wide collaboration of its kind, the initiative showcased how private industry can make a difference in the drive for increased childhood fitness.

"Although Stuart-Hobson has an incredible athletic program, we’ve lacked outside practice fields for our players," said Principal Dawn Clemens. "This new synthetic turf field will help all of our students increase their physical activity levels."

Despite its academic excellence, Stuart-Hobson Middle School previously had an asphalt playground that limited the ability of students to play team sports and increase their fitness levels. Unveiled during a "ribbon-breaking" ceremony, the new 13,200 sq ft, beautiful, safe, grass-like synthetic turf playing surface can be used by students year-round, even in the rain. Students, teachers, staff and parents enthusiastically embraced the playing field as a place of opportunity.

"Although Stuart-Hobson has an incredible athletic program, we’ve lacked outside practice fields for our players,” said Principal Dawn Clemens. "This new synthetic turf field will help all of our students increase their physical activity levels.” In reporting that about 17% of children and adolescents are obese, the Centers for Disease Control notes that the lack of safe, appealing places for kids to play or be active is a major problem in many communities. A rapidly growing solution to this problem is synthetic turf, installed by over 6,000 schools and community parks in the U.S. and Canada in places where it is difficult or impossible to grow natural grass. Eco-friendly benefits include the conservation of more than six billion gallons of water annually and elimination of harmful pesticides and fertilizers. Creating more outdoor play spaces and athletic fields enhances the well-being of young and old Americans alike.

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