The Fab “Farmers On The Green” STEM Educational Event At Boys And Girls Club Of Harlem

August 5, 2021

SYNLawn®, the largest manufacturer and unrivaled innovator of synthetic grass in North America, hosted more than 300 guests at a STEM educational event for New York City youth from several chapters of the Boys and Girls Club at the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem

The event was held in the outdoor area of the historic school building where SYNLawn New York recently donated and installed a soy biobased synthetic grass field.

“The SYNLawn New York team embraced the opportunity to support the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem with the artificial turf donation, and our collaborative vision for bringing in agricultural partners to expose these promising youth to the important role of the American farmer’s impact on various types of products,” said Anastasia Phillips, owner of SYNLawn New York. “All the praise for the success of the event goes to Dominique Jones and Melanie McKenzie-Layne.

They were wonderful partners to continue our efforts making safe places for children to play, learn and engage with their community, all while learning how farming and rural community life affects all of us. I am very grateful to the Boys and Girls Club, and I continue to be impressed with all of their efforts.”

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Boys & Girls Club of Harlem is extremely grateful to be a recipient of this extremely generous donation and to have participated in this unprecedented event for our club,” said Dominique Jones, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of Harlem. “Ensuring that our kids have access to open, safe spaces is essential. We are proud of the fact that we could open up our gates for kids in our neighborhood to not only experience the grass, but also make a clear connection on how rural agriculture affects their urban lives every day, it was a tremendous opportunity for them.”

Related: Harlem’s Dominique Jones Talks Harlem Boys & Girls on The Danny Tisdale Show podcast.

For this unique event, SYNLawn collaborated with the United Soybean Board, New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association, Indiana Soybean Alliance, John Bowne agricultural science program and FFA chapter from Flushing, and the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem to educate the children in attendance about science, sustainability and soybeans.

There were six learning stations set up outside on the new installation from SYNLawn New York that offered interactive demonstrations and STEM activities, as well as fun games like soybean bag toss and a soybean spoon race to keep the children engaged.

The educational activities introduced the children to how soybeans are used in products like SYNLawn to make them more sustainable.

The educational demonstrations included:

  • Ralph Lott, a United Soybean Board Vice Chair, who farms in New York, educated the children about how soybeans are used to make 1,000 different products, like SYNLawn.
  • Jenny Frank, Next Generation Scientist for Biodiesel co-chair and graduate student at The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, created environmental bingo and introduced the children to cleaner-burning biodiesel that fuels New York’s vehicles and Bioheat® for buildings.
  • The Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA) had a unique soy necklace project for the children that allowed them to watch the soybeans grow. 
  • The New York Corn and Soybean Association demonstrated the importance of plants, like soybeans, to protect soil from erosion. 

“I enjoyed participating in the Farmers on the Green event to help educate the children from the Boys and Girls Club chapters about how soybeans are used to create thousands of products and make them more sustainable,” said Ralph Lott II, United Soybean Board Vice Chair. “Since children in cities aren’t likely to be familiar with farming, I’m glad I was given the opportunity to discuss my experiences as a rural farmer and teach them about why agriculture is so important.”

The event also included a prominent guest to further enhance awareness about biobased products. Justin Maxson, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development, met with the youth attending the event.

He unveiled a new report, “An Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry,” which highlighted the benefits of the biobased industry in terms of sustainability and economic growth.

After his remarks, he joined the children in touring the learning stations, and participated in the activities like the corn hole toss.

SYNLawn® is the largest manufacturer and unrivaled innovator of artificial grass in NorthAmerica. As part of the SportGroup Holding® family of companies, SYNLawn, along with sister surfacing brands – Astroturf, Rekortan, APT and Laykold – delivers the best products available on the market.

SYNLawn’s product offerings also include Calico Greens™, an upscale line of artificial wall displays. SYNLawn’s turnkey network of 100 distributors seamlessly combines environmental stewardship with industry-leading innovations.

Manufactured in Dalton, GA, SYNLawn uses bio-based ingredients, such as soy and sugarcane, and consumer-conscious additives such as antimicrobials to meet customers’ wide range of needs.

With more than 200,000 residential and commercial installations, the company is raising the bar for global synthetic turf standards and transforming the idea of grass.

We have a proprietary system that accounts for more than 70 percent renewable content. From rooftops to road medians and rocket-launch viewing sites, SYNLawn has installed over 82 million square feet of U.S. soy-backed grass across 200,000 installations in the United States and 19 other countries since 2008.

We have a proprietary system that accounts for more than 70 percent renewable content. From rooftops to road medians and rocket-launch viewing sites, SYNLawn has installed over 82 million square feet of U.S. soy-backed grass across 200,000 installations in the United States and 19 other countries since 2008.

For 2021, North America’s largest manufacturer of artificial grass is set to add more soy than ever to its products, which will increase its use of U.S. soy by 10%.

Because of the potential for biobased products to create new markets for soybeans, U.S. soybean farmers have invested millions of dollars to research, test and promote biobased products.

Much of this work was done through the United Soybean Board, which is composed of 78 U.S. soybean farmers appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to invest soybean checkoff funds.

As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Services has oversight responsibilities for the soybean checkoff.

Since 1980, Boys & Girls Club of Harlem (BGCHarlem) has proudly served the youth and community of Harlem.

Our mission is to provide access and opportunities for youth to reach their full potential as responsible members of the community. We believe success is within reach of every young person that walks through our doors.

Our kids engage in high-quality youth development programming and they benefit from training, caring, professional staff and volunteers who help them take control of their lives, envision productive futures, and reach their goals.

Our six clubhouses both in NYC Department of Education Schools and our own flagship clubhouse, serve over 1,200 children and youth ages 5-18.

For more details about SYNLawn’s biobased products, visit

Photo credit: 1-6) Lance Cheung, photographer for the USDA instead of the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem.

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