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Football Foundation to power up grass pitches

Football Foundation to power up grass pitches: The Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation has today announced the launch of its ‘Power Up Your Grass Pitch’ campaign, which will revolutionise the state of grass football pitches in England.

The country’s biggest sports charity is on a mission to improve over 7,000 grass pitches by 2024 and 20,000 by 2030, to ensure the 12 million grassroots football players across the country have great places to play.

Football Foundation to power up grass pitches

Football Foundation to power up grass pitches

Around 87% of affiliated football is played on grass pitches, and with over 150,000 matches cancelled due to poor pitch quality during the last football season alone, play is often brought to a halt. The improvements brought about thanks to the Football Foundations work will make these cancellations a thing of the past. Further more if the improvements are achieved, by 2030 grassroots football pitches in England will be able to facilitate an additional 30,000 matches per week.

Improving facilities means that more people across England will get to enjoy playing the nation’s favourite sport, transforming people’s physical and mental wellbeing, as well as supporting local communities and economies.

To help make this ambition a reality, the Football Foundation has developed an app which is now being rolled out across the country. ‘PitchPower’ is an online tool that gives every community football club and organisation in the country the ability to carry out their own grass pitch inspections, providing fast and accurate data which is less time intensive and more efficient than in person inspections. Once an inspection is submitted, Regional Pitch Advisers at the Grounds Management Association produce an assessment report with bespoke advice and recommendations to improve the grass pitch quality at a site.

By using this tool more widely, the Football Foundation anticipates it will be able to carry out as many as 20,000 inspections a year, five times as many as in the past. In its trial phase, PitchPower has helped to inspect almost 5,000 pitches. These inspections have led to 446 grants being issued worth £8.6m, all of which has gone towards improving 1,564 pitches.

Once inspections have been completed via the PitchPower app – clubs and facilities are then eligible to apply for funding from the Football Foundation to support pitch improvements identified through the app.

Along with PitchPower unlocking funding, clubs and organisations will also be encouraged to upskill their workforce by having access to a range of free courses from the Grounds Management Association and join a community of professional and amateur groundskeepers on the free Football Foundation Groundskeeping Community App.

Robert Sullivan, Football Foundation Chief Executive Officer, said:

“Millions of players are left disappointed every year when their matches are cancelled due to poor quality pitches, something the Football Foundation and its partners are working tirelessly to prevent. We have made some ambitious targets when it comes to improving grass pitches – we want to get 20,000 pitches to ‘good’ quality by 2030 – to ensure no games are called off because of a poor quality pitch.

“Thanks to funding from the Premier League, The FA and Government our dedicated teams will be working hard to ensure clubs and facilities across the country have the support and resource they need to power up their grass pitches.”

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FairWays Foundation nears $300,000 in grants

FairWays Foundation nears $300,000 in grants: As it enters its second grant cycle, the global foundation has now awarded over $272,000 / £200,500 worth of funds since launch.

Having received a 50% increase in grant applications over year one, The FairWays Foundation has awarded over $166,000 / £122,400 worth of funds in its second grant cycle.

FairWays Foundation nears $300,000 in grants

FairWays Foundation nears $300,000 in grants

The funds have been awarded to a varied cross-section of environmental projects in both the USA and UK.

The funds are available as a result of Aquatrols committing to transferring a percentage of sales to The FairWays Foundation. In the USA, Aquatrols customers are also able to donate points earned through the Approach points redemption platform, if they so wish. This has been seen as another way for the green industry to support conservation and environmental efforts.

Successful grant projects range from butterfly and bird garden rehabilitation, riparian restoration and establishing pollinator wildflower patches to assistance for turf acreage verification, a wash pad bioswale and general ecology improvements on course.

To view more information about all the projects that are being supported this year, click here.

Matt Foster, CEO & President of Aquatrols and President of The FairWays Foundation said “I could not be prouder of the efforts from the team at The Fairways Foundation. In 2 years, we will have awarded just under $300k to industry operators dedicated to making a difference in their community. That is no small commitment. We also understand making a difference locally takes tremendous grit from a local champion. It might be a green keeper or parks manager or a program volunteer. Regardless, without their will these projects would never move forward. Our message to those individuals out there with a will for a healthier environment is The Fairways Foundation can help with the way to get there. Please apply.”

The FairWays Foundation is now looking for ambassadors to help reach those who wish to champion environmental projects but are unable to proceed due to lack of resources. Find out how you can get involved here.

The 2022 funding cycle opens in April 2022. Find out how to apply.

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Hayter partners with Commonwealth War Graves Foundation

Hayter partners with Commonwealth War Graves Foundation: To mark the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation’s first-ever War Graves Week (21-28 May 2021), premium lawncare brand Hayter has partnered with the Foundation to honour the Commonwealth’s war dead.

The partnership has launched the Best in Bloom competition, which invites people of all ages to create their very own wildflower memorial to remember those who died in the world wars. The Commonwealth War Graves Foundation (CWGF) will be sending out free packets of wildflower seeds, which have been chosen to reflect the plants that would have grown on the battlefields of the First World War, to all that apply for some.

Hayter partners with Commonwealth War Graves Foundation

Hayter partners with Commonwealth War Graves Foundation

The competition encourages people to plant the seeds now and the patch of wildflowers will be ready by War Graves Week. People can then enter the competition between 21-28 May by sharing their wildflower memorials on Twitter or Instagram using #WarGravesWeek. The winner will be selected by a panel of horticultural experts and they will take home a prize of up to £200 to spend in a garden centre.

Hayter will be supporting CWGF by stocking the seeds across the UK in its network of independent lawn mower dealers.

On the partnership, Craig Hoare, Sales and Marketing Manager for Hayter, said: “Gardening has been a great outlet for many of us during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a country we have come together to thank those who have put others before themselves. This follows in a great British tradition and shows that it’s just as relevant today as it’s always been to remember those who have given their lives for the greater good.”

While the seeds are free, donations to the CWGF are encouraged, as the foundation aims to engage and educate people in telling the stories of the 1.7 million fallen Commonwealth servicemen and women.

For more information on War Graves Week: https://www.cwgc.org/our-war-graves-your-history/war-graves-week/

For information on your local Hayter dealership: https://www.hayter.co.uk/locate-dealer

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FairWays Foundation second grant cycle

FairWays Foundation second grant cycle: With one successful grant cycle under their belt, The Fairways Foundation will begin accepting their second round of applications for grants on March 1, 2021. Their submission window will remain open until April 30, 2021 and final grant recipients will be notified in October 2021.

Last year The FairWays Foundation awarded over $106,000 / £80,000 worth of funds to a varied cross-section of environmental projects in both the USA and UK. Successful grant projects ranged from stream and grassland restorations to environmental conservation education for children. To view more information about all of the projects that have been supported by The Fairways Foundation, click here.

FairWays Foundation second grant cycle

FairWays Foundation second grant cycle

The conservation-focused non-profit encourages all businesses or individuals to apply who are looking for funding assistance for projects pertaining to our environment and natural resources. Find out how to apply here.

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The FairWays Foundation completes inaugural grant cycle

The FairWays Foundation completes inaugural grant cycle: After Aquatrols founded The FairWays Foundation in January 2019, the global not-for-profit has completed its first grant cycle this summer, with successful grant announcements having now taken place.

The FairWays Foundation has awarded over $106,000 / £80,000 worth of funds to a varied cross-section of environmental projects in both the USA and UK. The funds are available as a result of Aquatrols committing to transferring a percentage of sales to The FairWays Foundation. In the USA, Aquatrols customers are also able to donate points earned through the Approach points redemption platform, if they so wish. This has been seen as another way for the green industry to support conservation and environmental efforts.

The FairWays Foundation completes inaugural grant cycle

The FairWays Foundation completes inaugural grant cycle

Successful grant projects range from stream and grassland restorations and environmental conservation education for children to Ayrshire coastline pollinator movement The Irvine to Girvan Nectar Network in conjunction with The Scottish Wildlife Trust. To view more information about all the projects that are being supporting this year, click here.

Matt Foster, CEO & President of Aquatrols and President of The FairWays Foundation said in a recent interview with Scott MacCallum of Turf Matters, “The most important message for us to share is this is not a contest.  Applicants do not have to “beat” one another to get funding.  They simply must qualify as a sound project supporting conservation, stewardship or education.  As a former greenkeeper, I can remember wanting to cultivate environmental projects that made sense for our land and operation.  But I did not always have access to necessary resources.  Now those resources are available through The Fairways Foundation to greenkeepers across the land.  Truly a grass roots approach to making a difference to their world.” You can view the full interview here.

The FairWays Foundation now looks ahead to the 2021 funding cycle which opens in April 2021. Find out how to apply.

About The FairWays Foundation

The FairWays Foundation is a stand-alone not-for-profit organization dedicated to safeguarding our environment, supporting conservation-based projects; big and small, as well as educational events for professionals, newcomers to the field and for future minds.

Environmental stewardship is not an initiative. It is a long-term investment into our future and the future of our industry. The FairWays Foundation directly funds local and global projects that advance the conservation of our natural resources. These projects will help to preserve the environment we live and work in whilst encouraging education and stewardship not only within our own industry but also within wider communities.

More information: www.thefairwaysfoundation.com

About Aquatrols

More than 60 years ago, Aquatrols introduced the world’s first commercially available soil wetting agent. Since creating an entirely new product category to address water management challenges and opportunities, the company has remained a top innovator and producer of high-performance soil surfactants and related technologies. In addition to its core business of wetting agents, Aquatrols has launched four active ingredients and is the exclusive distributor for Redox’s portfolio of turf products. Aquatrols’ advanced product suite optimizes soil-water-plant interactions in agricultural, professional turfgrass, and horticultural industries in more than 40 countries. Headquartered in southern New Jersey, Aquatrols also has offices in the United Kingdom and conducts business on six continents.

More information: www.aquatrols.com or call (800) 257-7797

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Aquatrols Launch FairWays Foundation

Aquatrols Launch FairWays Foundation: Aquatrols used BTME as the platform to launch an exciting new venture to help promote and support conservation, stewardship and education throughout our industry.

The FairWays Foundation launch event was well received and attended by over 100 delegates from all sectors of the industry across UK and Europe. The audience heard how Aquatrols are putting words into action and will be committing a substantial percentage of their revenue to help fund the new, not-for-profit, FairWays Foundation.

Aquatrols Launch FairWays Foundation

The purpose of the foundation is to fund local and global projects that advance the conservation, stewardship and education of the challenges that we face in our environment. Sarah Vousden, Aquatrols European Business Manager invited the audience to get involved by submitting project funding applications, taking a deeper interest in the foundation itself through becoming a committee member or contributing to funding of the foundation, either directly, or indirectly through the purchase of Aquatrols products.

“I can’t imagine someone wanting to debate the merits of environmental stewardship or conservation. I’ve been in this business for 25 years, I understand how companies spend their resources and I believe Aquatrols can take a leadership position in making a difference in a way that goes beyond a conversation. Everyone that works in this industry doesn’t just like to be outside, they love to be outside; whether its on the course, the farm or on a hike with their family. Shouldn’t we do everything we can to preserve that? Aquatrols is.” – Matt Foster, Aquatrols CEO and founder of the FairWays Foundation.

Bob Taylor, head of Ecology and Environment at STRI contributed to the evening with his very insightful thoughts on where he believes the industry is now in terms of its understanding of Conservation topics, and where we need to be going forwards.  He encouraged everybody in the industry to play their part in securing the future of our courses and congratulated Aquatrols on pushing this Foundation forward.

The final accreditation of the FairWays Foundation, which is expected later this year, will see a true link between business and preserving the natural resources we all depend upon to ensure positive use of the land we occupy.

To follow the progress of the foundation, or to get involved go to www.thefairwaysfoundation.com

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