Park Pride will receive a $200,000 grant from the Atlanta Falcons as part of the National Football League Grassroots Program, it was announced today.
The grant, awarded by the Falcons, the NFL Youth Football Fund and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), is part of $2.5 million in field refurbishment awards presented to NFL communities this year. Park Pride will use the funds to install a synthetic turf field at Anderson Park in northwest Atlanta. With the new turf, the park will serve 17,000 young people from local schools and youth sports leagues.
The NFL Grassroots Program, a partnership between the NFL Youth Football Fund and LISC, the nation's leading community development support corporation, has resulted in the construction or renovation of 243 football fields nationwide in the past 13 years. During that time, the NFL Youth Football Fund has granted more than $30 million to revitalize playing fields in underserved neighborhoods. Fields are newly built or significantly renovated, with improvements such as irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, goal posts and turf. Grassroots grants are issued once established funding thresholds are reached for each project.
"Increasing access to public parks enables more children and families to live active, healthy lifestyles," Falcons owner and CEO Arthur Blank said. "We are proud to partner with the NFL Grassroots Program to enhance Anderson Park for the benefit of the surrounding community."
LISC identifies local nonprofit, neighborhood-based agencies which have an interest in building or refurbishing football fields in schools and parks in underserved neighborhoods. Through the program, the local agencies are provided with the necessary financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of fields in their neighborhoods. The local agencies oversee the construction, maintenance and programming of the fields.
"These fields are a critical part of our efforts to create sustainable communities – places where people want to live, work and raise families," said Michael Rubinger, LISC's president and CEO. "Through its contributions, the NFL Youth Football Fund is not only creating places for young people to compete in football and other sports, it's also making countless neighborhoods better and stronger."