Friday, June 4, 2010

MARTIN'S Donates Park Benches to City Parks

June 4, 2010
Richmond, VA – MARTIN’S donated 25 benches to Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities yesterday in a ceremony at Byrd Park. The supermarket chain, which now operates four stores in the city, encourages recycling and works with Trex® of Winchester, Virginia to turn recycled plastic bags into park benches, which it then donates to community organizations.

“We could not be more pleased with this donation,” said Dr. Carolyn Graham, the city’s deputy chief administrative officer for human services. “We welcome MARTIN’S to our city as a new corporate partner that cares about our community and is willing to step up to the plate and help us build a better Richmond.”

“These benches will help make our parks and playgrounds more inviting to the public and encourage outdoor activity,” said J.R. Pope, director of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities.

MARTIN’S Regional Vice President Jim Scanlon was on hand to donate the benches. “Each year, we donate park benches made from recycled plastic grocery bags to beautify local parks and green space in the neighborhoods where we have stores. We call it ‘Bags to Benches’ and we are delighted that 25 benches will find a new home in Richmond city parks where our customers and associates will be able to enjoy them,” he said. MARTIN’S employs approximately 700 full and part-time associates in its four Richmond stores.

The ceremony took place during the city department’s “Senior Day in the Park,” an annual event that kicks off a summer of programs for Richmond’s senior citizens. Four of the benches are already installed at the Byrd Park Tot Lot located just southwest of the Carillon. The remaining will be installed at parks and playgrounds throughout the city.

The department is responsible for 55 tot lots, 60 playgrounds and more than 57 parks and opens spaces throughout the city, including the James River Park System.

“Getting our city’s residents outdoors and active is one of the department’s most important missions,” said Roz Johnson, deputy director of the department. “It is also significant that MARTIN’S donation is based on recycling, an environmental initiative that is becoming increasingly more important. Recycling not only helps our planet, it helps our department save on park maintenance and transporting waste to the landfill,” she said.

Each bench is made from approximately 5,500 recycled plastic bags, according to MARTIN’S. Since 1997, the company has donated 1,400 park benches to a variety of organizations, including parks, playgrounds, fire departments, churches, libraries and schools.

For more information on MARTIN’S Bags to Benches program visit

For more information on Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities visit