For Immediate Release
Feb. 13, 2023
Browns to install high-quality synthetic turf field at Berea City School District’s Lou Groza Field
Project marks 14th field surface provided by Haslam and Johnson families, Browns
to Ohio schools, communities in past seven years
BEREA, Ohio – The Cleveland Browns during a Berea City School District Board Meeting today announced that the team will install ForeverLawn high-quality synthetic turf at Lou Groza Field in Berea this spring. It marks the 14th field surface provided to Ohio schools and communities by the Browns, courtesy of the Haslam and Johnson families and Browns Give Back, since the team’s long-term field initiative launched seven years ago (May 2016).
Construction at Lou Groza Field will begin in April and is expected to be finished in June. The Browns, Berea City School District, community leaders and ForeverLawn representatives will host a celebratory dedication ceremony following its completion.
“Led by the passion of the Haslam and Johnson families, the Browns are dedicated to giving back to our local community, by advancing participation in youth football, athletics and extracurricular activities as part of a comprehensive educational experience,” said Vice President of Community Relations Jenner Tekancic. “It is truly special to begin the installation of our 14th high-quality synthetic turf surface within seven years in our own backyard at Lou Groza Field, in partnership with Berea City Schools, that will provide learning opportunities for kids, families and community members on and off the field.”
“This is an incredible gift to the Titans community,” said Tracy Wheeler, Berea City School District Superintendent. "We are so excited and appreciative of the Cleveland Browns' generosity. This partnership is a big win for our community.”
The Browns have partnered with Berea City School District and other local groups who use Lou Groza Field for community engagement opportunities for many years, including the Browns Adapted Football League with Achievement Centers for Children. Additionally, the Lou Groza Titans Youth Football program has received equipment donations from the Browns, highlighted by a contribution through the HELMETS program this past December during Browns Give Back’s “10 Days of Giving” that provided $25,000 of new five-star helmets to the organization.
ForeverLawn, which recently partnered with the team as the Official Synthetic Turf Partner of the Cleveland Browns, is a premium synthetic turf provider based out of Louisville, Ohio. It will provide high-performance synthetic turf from its SportsGrass line of products for the Lou Groza Field renovation, as well as future sites selected by Browns Give Back.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Cleveland Browns and be a part of Browns Give Back,” said Derek Karmie, SportsGrass Brand Leader. “It is an honor to play a role in the improvement of local sports fields and the communities that use them.”
All of the new fields created through the program are lined for multiple sports, including but not limited to football and soccer, and serve as a resource to further engage athletes and students in their respective districts and programs. Given the stability of the surface and less maintenance needed compared to natural grass, the fields are also more readily available year-round to youth and community groups.
A primary focus of the Browns’ field project is to offer youth educational tools through “outdoor classrooms,” which offer opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities that support attendance, school engagement and overall personal growth.
The Browns operate their business and football operations from the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus in Berea. The building opened in August of 1991 and has undergone multiple renovations since its debut. The team will host its 29th training camp at the facility this summer.
Haslam and Johnson families and Browns Give Back field project summary:
*To be completed in June 2023
About the Cleveland Browns and Browns Give Back:
The Browns Give Back to Northeast Ohio with a commitment to education and youth football while engaging the community through the team’s signature First and Ten volunteer movement. For more information, visit www.clevelandbrowns.com/brownsgiveback.
Education – The Cleveland Browns are dedicated to improving the quality of education for students in Ohio by making investments that keep kids in school every day so they can succeed, highlighted by the Stay in the Game! Keep Learning, Every Day Network. The Stay in the Game Network is a statewide initiative designed to promote the importance of school attendance and put an end to chronic absenteeism through a partnership between the Cleveland Browns Foundation, Ohio Department of Education and Harvard University’s Proving Ground, as well as the Columbus Crew. The team engages local school districts and promotes quality education by using attendance data and feedback from families to build a school-going culture, uncover and reduce common barriers to attendance and support engagement opportunities for students to thrive. In the 2022-23 school year, the Stay in the Game! Network will partner with 17 school districts, benefitting more than 150,000 students in Ohio. No matter the circumstances, the Stay in the Game! Network will continue to encourage and support students to maintain a strong educational-going mindset to keep learning, every day, aligned with its overall goal to help end chronic absenteeism and provide all students equal opportunities to be successful. To learn more visit, visit StayinTheGame.org.
Youth Football – The Cleveland Browns are committed to assisting the development, safety and growth of youth and high school football throughout Northeast Ohio with year-round programming for players, coaches, officials and parents. Through camps, clinics and other initiatives, the Browns’ goal is to promote healthy, social, emotional, intellectual and physical development of youth by enhancing opportunities for youth football participation and education.
First and Ten – Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team’s community program, established to inspire fans to #give10 and help their communities by volunteering for 10 hours each year. Through First and Ten, the Browns are the only NFL club to promote a long-term volunteering program that unifies the team and its entire fan base, with the goal of impacting every individual’s city across the globe, as well as the franchise’s local community. To date, more than 2.75 million hours of volunteering have been pledged through First and Ten. All Browns fans are encouraged to join the volunteering effort by signing the First and Ten pledge on the team’s website and by sharing their stories with #give10.
ForeverLawn® improves spaces and communities through innovative synthetic grass solutions. Beginning in 2004 as the daring entrepreneurial venture of two brothers, ForeverLawn has consistently led the synthetic turf industry through groundbreaking approaches to products and practice. As the premium choice for synthetic surfacing, each product is engineered to solve unique consumer needs and desires while maintaining superior standards and natural aesthetics. Today the company services over 90 localized markets through their dealer network with an impressive regional, national and international project portfolio. To learn more about the ForeverLawn family of products and how to be a person of impact through business ownership opportunities, visit foreverlawn.com.
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