BEREA, OH (WOIO) - Dwayne Browder Football Field in Cleveland's Central neighborhood will get a new synthetic turf football field, thanks in part to a $200,000 grant from the Cleveland Browns through the National Football League Foundation Grassroots Program, as well as funding from the City of Cleveland's Capital Improvement Program.
The grant from the Browns, the NFL Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to non-profit community development corporation Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc. (BBC), is part of $2.5 million in field refurbishment awards allocated this year.
The new Dwayne Browder field will service a local youth football team in the 26-team Cleveland Muny Football League, and East Technical High School's football team.
The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program – a partnership between the NFL Foundation and LISC, the nation's leading community development support organization – has supported the construction or renovation of 290 football fields nationwide since 1998.
During that time, the NFL Foundation has granted nearly $37 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.
"The passion that Cleveland and Ohio have for football at all levels of competition is significantly heightened by the positive influence it has on our youth," said Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam. "We are honored to help present this grant that will benefit young athletes and coaches in our community as we remain committed to the development, safety and growth of youth football throughout Northeast Ohio."
LISC identifies local, nonprofit, community-based agencies that have an interest in building or refurbishing football fields in schools and neighborhood parks.
Through the program, local agencies are provided with the necessary financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of fields in their communities.
The agencies oversee the construction, maintenance and programming of the fields.
"These fields are useful in so many ways," said Michael Rubinger, LISC's president and CEO. "With them, local organizations can promote good physical fitness, teamwork, and community spirit – all critical elements of neighborhood health. The NFL Foundation has been a great partner in creating these essential community assets."