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Miracle League gets grant

COVINGTON -- The city of Covington has been awarded a $100,000 grant on behalf of the Miracle League of Newton County. The grant will go to fund the artificial turf on the field, which is currently under construction and will serve special needs children.

The Land and Water Conservation Grant is federal funding that is administered through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The city of Covington applied for the grant on behalf of Miracle League. The non-profit raising funds for the field will provide $100,000 in matching funds for a total of $200,000 earmarked for surfacing and related expenses, said Miracle League Consultant Tamara Richardson.

Newton's field will be one of the only Miracle fields in the country to use artificial versus rubberized turf, she said. Artificial turf is more realistic in appearance and has more bounce.

The Friends of Miracle League has also raised nearly $100,000 for playground equipment for the playground planned near the field, bringing construction funds available to $1.7 million. The bulk -- $1.5 million -- is coming from the 2011 SPLOST.

Richardson said the grant would not have been possible without the city of Covington's partnership and the work of the city's grant writer, Randy Conner.

The Miracle League has also applied for two additional grants, from CVS and Resurgens Orthopedics.

Construction on the field at City Pond Park has been underway for a month. The field is expected to be in use by fall 2013.