Natural grass surface has gotten pretty beat up over the past couple of football seasons.

    The installation of artificial turf on Ed Widseth Field at the University of Minnesota Crookston received another boost with a second gift of $25,000 from the Eagles Club in Crookston. This donation, the second $25,000 designated for the project in the past few weeks, will be spread over a five year period. With Ed Widseth Field used by the Golden Eagle athletics and the Crookston High School, it is essential to install artificial turf to keep the surface ready for play.

    "I could not be happier that the membership of the Crookston Eagles Club has decided to donate $25,000 to UMC for the turf project," said Crookston Eagles Club general manager Jake Fee. "This project is not only great for UMC but will also be a great asset for the Crookston High School and for the entire community of Crookston. The Crookston Eagles Club is a proud supporter of UMC, and we are pleased that we can play a small part in helping this project happen.

    “The Eagles Club motto is ‘People helping People,’ and I take great pride in supporting our community and our local charities and we couldn't think of a better project to get behind, and encourage everyone in the community to help in any way to this project,” Fee continued.

    Almost all football fields in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC), the conference in which the U of M Crookston competes, have upgraded to artificial turf. Not only is the artificial surface easier to maintain, it reduces injury and can handle up to six times more traffic than grass fields. The estimated cost of the project is approximately $1 million including of the initial investment necessary to build the base for the turf.

    Bill Tyrrell, director of athletic fundraising, is pleased to add this generous gift to those already given. “The installation of the turf is a big project and also a big priority for us,” Tyrrell says. “It is incredible to have this kind of support coming from our community. It builds momentum, and makes a difference in the lives of all our students.”

    For questions regarding the project or to help support the effort, contact Tyrrell at 281-8436 or