By Debbie Adams
Each year through 2026, Lowe’s will partner with non-profits to complete nearly 1,800
community impact projects through the Lowe’s Hero’s program. Every Lowe’s store is involved.
This year, the Town of Vinton was selected to receive funding through Lowe’s Hero’s for
improvements at M.A. Banks Park. The town worked with the Bonsack Lowe’s on Challenger
According to Lowe’s, “As a home improvement company, Lowe’s is uniquely suited to
contribute to specific areas where it can make the biggest, most positive impact. That’s why the
company is focusing its philanthropic giving efforts in two areas it knows best: housing and
“Each project receives financial support and/or products – along with volunteer support from
Lowe’s red vest associates – to make physical improvements that help local nonprofit
organizations continue to make meaningful impact in their communities.”
“The M.A. Banks Park/Lowe’s Hero’s project is a great example of the many wonderful things
that are occurring in the Town of Vinton,” Vinton Mayor Brad Grose said upon completion of
the project. “Lowe’s Home Improvement approached the town in search of a project that would allow them to give back to the community in a genuinely meaningful way. The Town of Vinton staff, along with the Roanoke County Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department and the crew from Lowe’s combined to make an awesome team!
“The improvements and repairs made by this team have truly been a blessing, and we are very
grateful for the effort of those involved in the project. They made a difference in our community.
It was very impressive to witness the excitement and enthusiasm displayed by everyone involved
in the project.
“The M.A. Banks Park is a wonderful community facility that is used on a very frequent basis. I
am convinced that the improvements will be greatly appreciated by everyone who has an
opportunity to visit the park.
“Thank you, Town of Vinton staff, Roanoke County Parks and Tourism and the team from
Lowe’s Home Improvement for the meaningful, long-lasting contribution to our community!”
The local Hero’s project in Vinton kicked off on the morning of October 17 with remarks from
Store Manager Lisa Ratcliffe and Mayor Grose.
Ratcliffe commented that every Lowe’s store does a Hero’s project with a mission of giving back
to the community, usually through beautification and revitalization projects. Generally, the
projects are completed between September and Veterans Day in November. The budget for the
M.A. Banks project was $3,000. Twenty-one volunteers spent two eight-hour days completing
seven mini-projects at the park, which is located on Craig Avenue.
“Our goal is to deliver the best experience possible for the community,” Ratcliffe said. “Our
motto is ‘Leave it better than we found it.’”
She began talking with Vinton Town Manager Pete Peters about a Hero’s project for Vinton
nearly two years ago. A new multi-generational park at the Vinton War Memorial is just in the
planning stages, so the town thought it would be in its best interests to make some needed
updates at M.A. Banks Park, which is very well used.
Eric Vest, Assistant Director of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, and Tabby Blaylock, who
coordinates volunteers for the department, walked the park with Ratcliffe to assess the
improvements needed to bring the project to life.
The mini-projects included replacing the wood on picnic tables underneath the shelter, replacing
parking posts and posts on the fence line, painting the entrance sign, kick-starting the
landscaping with plants to be added in the spring, replacing wood on the seating benches,
making improvements to the horseshoe pit, and pressure washing. Slats are on order for the
The county removed some barbed wire on the site. The Western Virginia Water Authority
trucked in water for the pressure washing.
Peters expressed his appreciation to Lowe’s and the Hero’s program for their generous donation
of time and materials to improve the amenities at M.A. Banks Park. He and Mayor Grose were “particularly impressed with the skill and attention to detail that the Lowe’s team displayed during their time at the park. We are also appreciative to Roanoke County Parks and Recreation who routinely maintain the park and also pitched in on these recent updates. They do a great job in keeping the park clean and well-maintained throughout the year, as they do for all their parks. This is a great example of a meaningful partnership and is what makes our community so special.”