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County donates old stadium turf to seven groups

Turf replaced at Ralph Wilson Staduim, Orchard Park, NY
WBFO News file photo
Turf replaced at Ralph Wilson Staduim, Orchard Park, NY

By Bert Gambini

Buffalo, NY – The turf removed this summer from Ralph Wilson Stadium is being donated to seven local non-profit groups.

League rules required the team to replace its playing surface, but the old turf was hardly that old at all and has found new homes.

Erie County Executive Chris Collins announced as the county is the owner of Ralph Wilson Staduim, the old turf was carefully removed so that it could be repurposed in the community to support youth athletics and recreation activities.

"As County Executive I am pleased that this turf, paid for by the taxpayers of Erie County, can be repurposed to provide recreational and athletic opportunities for youth in our community," said Collins. "It is our hope that this turf will continue to benefit our community in a new way for years to come."

Collins asked County Parks Commissioner James Hornung to review the applications along with Stephen Lynch from Sports Performance Park at the Eastern Hill Mall.

Lynch paid to have the approximately 86,000 square feet of turf hauled away from the Ralph and temporary stored at the mall while recipients were being indentified and selected.

The following organizations will receive turf from Ralph Wilson Stadium:

Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School in South Buffalo - will use the turf to convert a school parking lot into an outdoor athletic field

Boys and Girls Club of Springville - will use the turf to carpet an indoor portion of the club's new, larger location

Town of Boston - will use the turf to convert a parking lot into an outdoor recreation area for the Town's Youth Recreation Center

St. Mary's High School in Lancaster - will use the turf to carpet the floor of the school's indoor batting cage

Amherst Lighting Softball League - will use the turf to carpet a softball diamond in Amherst

Amherst Mel Ott Baseball League - will use the turf to carpet a baseball diamond in Amherst

HITS (Helping Individuals to Smile) Foundation headquartered in West Seneca - will use the turf to carpet an indoor field at the organization's sports complex being constructed in Springville.

Erie County received more than two dozen applications.