PORTLAND, Ore. -- Tons of artificial turf are being ripped out of PGE Park as it undergoes renovations for the new soccer stadium, but KGW has learned that much of that turf is being recycled and reused by some very deserving youngsters.
The City of Portland is donating much of the baseball field's old turf to Portland Public School athletic programs.
"It's important for us and the City of Portland officials to make sure those items are reused," said Chris Metz with PGE Park. Wednesday morning Madison High School's athletic director picked up two of the 2500 lb rolls with the help of a fork-lift.
And then with the help of his students, dropped them off at the school’s stadium. The turf will be used in the school’s new batting cage which was also donated by PGE Park.
The city says it's a way to preserve some PGE Park history while helping out its struggling schools.
"The budget realities are pretty grim. I think everybody in the city is aware of that and there's no possible way we would be able to buy this stuff," said Petra Callin, Madison High School principal. The students are also grateful for the gift.
"It means we actually get to practice our hitting better and try to actually win some games and stuff," said baseball Madison H.S. player Tony Thomas.
In addition to the turf, PGE Park also donated a scoreboard, numerous pieces of equipment, even the infield dirt to a number of schools.
The city says its goal is to recycle as much of the old park as possible.