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Buffalo LISC SpotlightBuffalo LISC Spotlight: Making a Difference

NFL Grassroots Program

Parks and ball fields can serve as tremendous community assets because they offer opportunities for recreation, education and relaxation that contribute to the local quality of life, especially for young people. The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program, a partnership of the National Football League Foundation and LISC, provides non-profit, neighborhood organizations, middle schools and high schools with financing and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of youth football fields.

The NFL and the Buffalo Bills also recognize that the fields needn’t be only for football in order to serve a healthy recreational and community purpose, and that’s why they are striped for soccer and lacrosse as well. The Buffalo Public School’s All High Stadium, an NFL Grassroots-supported venue, served as host field for a recent district-wide lacrosse tournament.

LISC works to ensure that field projects receiving NFL funding have matching dollars to meet their total development budgets. Many of the field projects are located in close proximity to other community revitalization efforts, creating a web of local investments that reinforce each other. The program, funded by the NFL and the NFL Players Association, not only provides recreational opportunities: it acts as a catalyst for community redevelopment.

"Several community organizations that include the Buffalo Bills and LISC along with the Buffalo Board of Education made a significant investment in the interscholastic athletic program at Buffalo Public Schools.  In addition to our well established football, soccer, track programs our students from 16 high schools and over 25 middle schools are able to participate in lacrosse and several summer camps.  We are a very fortunate urban school district.  Buffalo Public Schools is on the rise athletically as well as academically" - Aubrey Lloyd, Director of Athletics, Buffalo Public Schools

In 2012, The Buffalo Legacy Project was awarded a $200,000 grant from the Buffalo Bills through the NFL Foundation and Buffalo LISC as part of the NFL Grassroots Program.  The grant assisted with the development of Pierce Field, a new synthetic turf field at Mulroy Park in South Buffalo.

Located just seven miles from Ralph Wilson Stadium, the new 1.2 million dollar “Pierce Field” is a state-of-the-art synthetic turf athletic field- fully equipped for all sports to help kids PLAY 60 in South Buffalo.

Our most recent NFL/LISC Grassroots Program Recipient is the Niagara Falls School District, who will use the funds towards a synthetic turf field surface at Nicoletti Field.

The $200,000 grant, awarded by the Bills, the NFL Youth Football Fund and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), is part of $2.5 million in field refurbishment awards allocated this year.
The Nicoletti Preparatory football field multipurpose field will be one element of a multipurpose recreational and sports complex for Niagara Falls students and families.

(Above) Buffalo Public School Kids Soccer Camp, Summer 2013

(Above) Buffalo district-wide lacrosse tournament at All High Stadium May, 2013

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