Highlighting the importance of community partnerships in increasing childhood fitness, the US Department of Education recently commended the Synthetic Turf Council and its members for donating a new synthetic turf playing field to Stuart-Hobson Middle School in Washington, DC.
Synthetic Turf Council donates playing field in Washington, DC
Highlighting the importance of community partnerships in increasing childhood fitness, the U.S. Department of Education recently commended the Synthetic Turf Council (STC) and its members for donating a new synthetic turf playing field to Stuart-Hobson Middle School in Washington, D.C. The field was unveiled during a ribbon-breaking ceremony on October 11, 2011 during the STC’s Annual Membership Meeting.
“During these difficult budget times, it can be hard for public schools to focus on healthy eating and physical activity, and at many schools, students simply do not have a safe, inviting place to participate in team sports and to improve their physical fitness,” noted Arne Duncan, Secretary of the Department of Education, in a letter sent to the STC. “Your partnership with Stuart-Hobson Middle School in creating a new play surface for students is an example of the ways that public-private partnerships can enhance a school’s athletic program to improve student health and fitness.”
Representing the first industry-wide collaboration of its kind, the 13,200 sq ft, beautiful, safe, grass-like synthetic turf playing surface can be used by students year-round, even in the rain. Previously the school had limited facilities for students to play and exercise outside. The STC is currently investigating similar opportunities for a public-private partnership to contribute another playground during its 2012 Fall Annual Meeting, which will be held in Dallas, Texas from October 1 – 3.
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 7,000 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.