Scholarship Program

NOTE: Since Oct. 15th falls on Saturday this year, all Scholarship and Grant applications will be accepted through Monday, Oct. 17.  

SAFE Scholarships

If you are interested in applying for a SAFE Scholarship, please download and complete the electronic SAFE Scholarship Application with overview information.  Or, you can click here for the just the application form.  Please be sure to review the checklist to make sure you have sent in all pieces of the application. 

Click here for the Faculty Advisor Form and here for the Employer Reference Form. 


About the SAFE Scholarship Program

In 2000, the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) formed the Foundation for Safer Athletic Field Environments (SAFE). An initial endowment of $100,000 by STMA has enabled SAFE to live its mission: To enrich communities through championing safe, sustainable sports and recreation fields for all athletes.

SAFE annually awards scholarships to students who are planning a career in the sports turf industry. Since its inception, the SAFE Foundation has presented more than $225,000 in scholarships and travel to the STMA Conference and Exhibition to more than 120 students.

Each year, SAFE awards three named scholarships: the Dr. James Watson Graduate Scholarship, the Dr. James Watson Undergraduate Scholarship, and the Dr. Fred Grau Scholarship. The Watson Scholarships are named in honor of long-time green industry researcher and consultant Dr. James Watson, are funded by the Toro Giving Program, and are presented to the top graduate and undergraduate scholarship recipients. The top recipient from a two-year program receives the Dr. Fred Grau scholarship, which is named in honor of the first turfgrass extension specialist in the United States. There is not a separate application for these named scholarships; they are awarded to the top graduate and undergraduate applicants.

Students are strongly encouraged to apply for the scholarships. Simply print and complete the application and return it to the SAFE Scholarship Committee. It is also available in aWord document for easy word processing. The applicants are judged on academic preparation, cumulative grade point average, experience in sports turf management, and references provided by student advisers and previous or current employers. They are also evaluated on their contributions to their school, department, and organizations to which they belong, as well as their career objectives.  

Application Procedure:

Download the SAFE Scholarship Application in a fillable Word document.   

All applications and materials must be received by no later than October 15 each year. 

All materials must be submitted electronically.  This includes letters of support, Faculty Advisor Forms, Employer Reference Forms, and any other documents that you wish to submit with your application. 


Each year, the SAFE Scholarship Program is supported through the Toro Giving Program, SAFE Golf Tournament, proceeds from the SAFE Live and Silent Auctions, and the donations of individuals and corporations.

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