Winners Announced for the 2011 Search for the Real Field of Dream Contest

Who says dreams don’t come true? The Synthetic Turf Council announced the winners of its annual Search for the Real Field of Dream Contest — Taylor’s Dream Boundless Playground in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Van Horn High School in Independence Missouri — that aims to honor synthetic grass athletic fields, parks and playgrounds in the U.S. and Canada that have improved their local communities.

“Their inspirational stories showcase how perseverance can make any dream come true,” said Rick Doyle, President of the Synthetic Turf Council, in a press release on the announcement.

While artificial grass has long been used in homes and athletic fields across the nation, it is quickly becoming the next best alternative to natural grass in playgrounds and parks. This is because it is a safe and durable surface with 100 percent crumb rubber infill, safer than sod, wood chips, sand and urethane surfaces.

In addition, synthetic turf has had a positive impact on local community. In fact, to qualify for the 2011 Search for the Real Field of Dream Contest, both grand prize winners demonstrated how they overcame many barriers in order to buy synthetic turf and offer local children access to safe, outdoor play areas to enjoy sports and build self-esteem.

And the heroes behind these innovative playgrounds and parks are not adults. For example, an 11-year-old child named Taylor in Fort Wayne, Indiana was the person who noticed that children with disabilities weren’t able to access playgrounds. She had the idea to create a place where children of all abilities could play and exercise.

Due to her efforts, the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department launched Taylor’s Dream Boundless Playground in June 2011. The playground is adorned with synthetic turf, or fake grass, making is accessible to wheelchairs, braces and other assistive equipment. Due to Taylor’s efforts, thousands of children and adults with disabilities enjoy the playground.

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