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Breaking new ground

The Jaguars, along with several charitable organizations, will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Pine Forest Football Field today.

"This is great for the NFL, the Jaguars and the youth of Jacksonville," said Delores Barr Weaver, co-owner of the Jaguars and CEO/Chair of the Jaguars Foundation. "We are proud to be part of this effort, and we congratulate the Jacksonville Housing Partnership and Pine Forest Athletic Association for their dedication to area youth demonstrated by their efforts to create a sports field anyone would be proud to play upon."

The NFL Charities Community Football Field Program and the Local Initiative Support Corporation of Jacksonville made the renovation of the Pine Forest Football Field possible. The total cost of the renovation is $100,000 and it includes the leveling, grading and establishment of a new turf for the existing field. Florida Carter Corporation is the contractor for the project.

This is the second field in Jacksonville to receive funding through the program, which to date has provided some $6.5 million over five years to support football field development efforts in more than 50 communities nationwide. The Jacksonville Jaguars and the other NFL franchises provided the grants to capitalize the fund. Last year, the first NFL – LISC grant funded a field renovation at the Woodland Acres Boys and Girls Club. A third field in Jacksonville has been awarded to the PAL in Arlington.

The Pine Forest Athletic Association is a 30-year-old volunteer association that currently serves about 200 area youth through its football, cheerleading and baseball programs. The football program is part of the local Pop Warner football league. Currently, 25 games are played at the Pine Forest sporting complex on a field that was not designed for football. Redesign of the field will be the last piece in the redevelopment of the sporting complex that the Jacksonville Department of Parks, Recreation and Entertainment began last year. To date, the City has invested $700,000 in the complex, including $500,000 to renovate the community center, $64,000 for the swimming pool and $118,000 to build a concession stand at the football field.

"Since 1979, LISC has worked to help local neighborhood groups across the country rebuild their communities," said Joni Foster, Program Director, LISC/Jacksonville. "Improving recreational facilities is an essential part of that effort. Healthy neighborhoods need stable housing, quality commercial options, employment opportunities, and safe and decent places where our children can play. LISC is proud to be part of this effort here in Jacksonville."

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