NFL Foundation Grassroots Program Funds Install of Shaw Sports Turf on Martin Luther King Jr. Field

29 September 2022

The City of Richmond Community Services Department, through fiscal agent Richmond Friends of Recreation, was the recent recipient of $250,000 to fund improvements to Martin Luther Jr. Field as part of the NFL Foundation Grassroots Program. The program is a partnership of the NFL and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The aim of the program is to provide neighborhood organizations with financial assistance to improve the safety, quality, and accessibility of local football fields. The City of Richmond used this funding to install a brand-new turf surface on the community’s only outdoor sports field.

Richmond’s central community outdoor field at Martin Luther King Jr. Park needed renovation and upgrading. The surface of the field, which was already synthetic turf, was over ten years old and could no longer be safely used by the community. When the organization began researching synthetic turf companies, they found that Shaw was a perfect match for their budget and needs. “We found that Shaw had the most experience, best reputation, and could meet all the organization’s requirements and needs for the most competitive price,” said Jene Levine-Snipes, Development Project Manager II for Housing Development for the City of Richmond. The City Council approved a contract with Shaw Sports Turf in June of 2021. The turf surface was completed and installed in April of 2022.

Shaw Sports Turf installed 96,430 square feet of the premium Legion 2.0 turf system. Shaw Sports Turf's Legion fiber system combines slit film and monofilament fibers into one complete system. Legion not only looks like natural grass and allows for better ball roll; it also has added durability and infill control. The organization chose sand and rubber infill mix for reduced infill flyout and migration. With Shaw’s Legion turf system, players can enjoy a nonabrasive, grass like surface that is both safe and aesthetically pleasing to the community.

“The community loves it,” said Levine-Snipes. “They have been waiting for this and could not wait to get on the field.” While the field is primarily used for football, it also stands as the community’s outdoor soccer field. The surrounding schools and recreational programs have also been enjoying the new field. “We have gym classes that will meet on the field, recreational programs, and schools,” said Levine-Snipes.

An official ribbon cutting ceremony was held on May 18th, 2022.

“I'm ecstatic Shaw Sports Turf could be involved with the City of Richmond. It was great to work with the city's project management team to make the MLK Jr. Park project happen. This will be something the City of Richmond can be proud of for years to come,” said Shaw Sports Turf Territory Manager, Matt Cohen.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Shaw Industries is a full flooring provider to the residential and commercial markets. Shaw supplies carpet, hardwood, laminate, resilient, and tile/ stone flooring products, as well as synthetic turf. Shaw Sports Turf is a division of Shaw Industries, one of the leading synthetic turf companies in North America and has represented quality and innovation for more than two decades with over 3,500 successful installations, including an impressive list of high-profile field installations. For more information, please visit, call 866-703-4004 or find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.