CLEVELAND, Ohio – Despite windy conditions and the occasional rain drop, Project EverGreen kicked off its “Healthy Turf. Healthy Kids.” Initiative October 7 in Cleveland, Ohio with the revitalization of the soccer field behind the Michael J. Zone Recreation Center.

With a host of special guests including Cleveland City Councilman Matt Zone, for whose grandfather the center is named after, and City of Cleveland Parks Maintenance Commissioner Richard Silva, in attendance, Cindy Code, executive director of Project EverGreen, told attendees the revitalization of green spaces benefit children, adults and entire communities.

Studies have confirmed there is significant value in having children spend time outdoors playing, and Project EverGreen’s “Healthy Turf. Healthy Kids.” initiative was created to restore and revitalize green spaces for kids to play, exercise and connect including sports fields and parks.

The initiative is done in collaboration with the Sports Turf Managers Association and the Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance.

The project involved aerating, fertilizing and overseeding the playing surface as well as removing rocks and bricks embedded in the soil. Local contractors lending support to the program included Morton’s Landscape, Schill Grounds Management, Weed Pro and Weed Man. The total estimated cost to renovate the 120-by-60-yard field was $15,000.

Plans call for additional “Healthy Turf. Healthy Kids.” projects in select cities across the United States in 2015.