EDWARDSVILLE, ILL., April 20, 2011 . . . Falling in step with the Green Movement and upcoming Earth Day celebrations, The Goddard School in Edwardsville celebrated the opening of its new $55,000 playground, designed using all Earth-friendly materials that are safer for children and the environment.

Designed around a synthetic grass product, XGrass, the playground surface is weather-resistant, hypo-allergenic and permanently manicured, eliminating the emissions generated from lawn equipment. The new synthetic lawn will also eliminate the need for using fertilizers and watering the grass and since it dries in minutes, it is not subject to bacteria build up, allowing children with allergies to play without added exposure to allergens. The XGrass product looks just like real grass and in general serves as a more sanitary surface than sand, pea gravel, mulch, and shredded tires. The system is completely anti-microbial.

According to Barbara Burrows, owner of The Goddard School in Edwardsville, “We decided to make this capital investment in our school so that the children could play in the safest environment possible – free of allergens, fertilizers and unsanitary surfaces. Prior to this investment, we had regular grass and occasional worn areas and found that it eliminated our ability to allow the children to play outside after rain and we like them to be exposed to the outdoors as much as possible to fit the goals of the Goddard Systems curriculum. We are very pleased with the outcome and hope our families are too.”

All materials used in the playground are 100 percent recyclable and will never hit a landfill. The XGrass Play product is endorsed for its outstanding quality by the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) for meeting its safety requirements for up to a 12-foot critical fall height.

According to Ron Bennett, President of XGrass, “Our synthetic turf is soft to the touch and provides a consistently safe playing surface. We rigorously test all of our products and installation methods to ensure that we are installing the highest quality product available. We are the country's largest synthetic turf safety surface installation company and we take pride in providing a safe and enjoyable play environment for children.”

Located at 801 South Arbor Vitae off of Plum Street in The Park at Plum Creek development, The Goddard School located in Edwardsville opened its doors in February 2009 and since has attracted more than 160 families.

The Goddard School located in Edwardsville is part of Goddard Systems, Inc. Recently named #1 Childcare Franchise in the United States, by Entrepreneur magazine, for the ninth consecutive year (January 2010) and one of the Top 200 Franchise Systems (in worldwide sales), by Franchise Times, for the fourth consecutive year (October 2010); Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI) is expanding The Goddard School® network throughout the United States. Headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, GSI currently licenses 360+ franchised schools with more than 43,000 students in 34 states. With a successful system in place and dedicated franchisees, GSI is the acknowledged leader in franchised childcare and a premier childcare provider in the United States.

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