Recently, the Synthetic Turf Council released the results for the 2012 Search for the Real Field of Dreams national contest that included two "Grand Prize Winners," The Cotting School in Lexington, Massachusetts and The City of Refuge in Atlanta, Georgia. Both organizations have compelling stories that provide local youth and children with opportunities to play outside, enjoy sports and build self-esteem.
The annual contest recognizes synthetic turf athletic fields, parks and playgrounds in the United States and Canada that have made an exceptional impact within their local communities. Their inspirational stories showcase how perseverance can make dreams come true.
For The Cotting School in Massachusetts, students with disabilities never had the opportunity to participate in outdoor activities. The lack of an accessible outdoor field presented problems for many of the students, particularly those who use wheelchairs and walkers. With the new synthetic turf field, the children now have the opportunity to play with their peers.
In Atlanta, The City of Refuge has offered both life-saving resources and life building tools to individuals and families who have encountered difficult circumstances. In an area of Atlanta where it is virtually impossible to play outside in a safe and secure environment, the two synthetic turf play fields have provided the children a safe haven to stay active and to just be a kid.
Other winners in the Real Field of Dreams contest include "Top Winners" Piqua High School in Piqua, Ohio and Athenia Steel Recreation Complex in Clifton, New Jersey. Winners in the "National Finalist" category included Hermleigh High School in Hermleigh, Texas and Hattie Larlham Doggie Day Care & Boarding in North Canton, Ohio.
Established in 2009, STC's Search for the Real Field of Dreams is open to any school, park, business, municipality or organization that currently has a synthetic turf field, park, playground or surface in use. The size of the space doesn't matter; it is judged on the impact made on individuals and the community.