After lots of hard work and many years of discussions, the grand opening of Squamish’s new artificial turf field will take place on Saturday (March 9).
The $1.2 million artificial turf field was made possible by funding from the Province of British Columbia’s Community Recreation Program, 2010 Sports Legacy Fund, Squamish Soccer Association and the District of Squamish.
“The realization of this project has been the result of true community collaboration, and I’m very pleased to see all groups come together to bring this asset to fruition,” Squamish Mayor Rob Kirkham said.
The artificial turf field has opened up the game for local sports associations, allowing safe play to take place in nearly all weather conditions. The turf field will be used extensively by the local soccer groups representing 2,000 community members, and will also accommodate other sports including high school football, providing broader opportunities for Squamish to host games and tournaments.
A cheque for $100,000 will be presented to the District of Squamish by the Squamish Soccer Association (SSA) as the group’s contribution toward the field’s installation. Volunteer members of the SSA raised the money through extensive fundraising efforts to demonstrate their unwavering support of the project and the community.
“This field is the result of a dream realized through hard work and tenacity,” said Katrina Doherty, president of the Squamish Youth Soccer Association. “It is, what we hope, only the beginning of a revitalization of Centennial Fields.”
Kirkham added that the field’s creation wouldn’t have been possible without the work of local volunteers.
“The spirit of volunteerism in our community constantly inspires me, and on behalf of the entire District of Squamish, thank you to our community sports groups for such monumental efforts,” he said.
The grand opening will feature a ribbon cutting ceremony with Kirkham and MLA Joan McIntyre, and a traditional Squamish Nation blessing ceremony. An official kick-off of a multi-generational game of soccer will officially put the field “in play.” Snacks and a bouncy castle will be on hand.
On an environmental note, the artificial turf field is manufactured in part from 60 tonnes of recycled tires, some of which likely made their way from Squamish. Approximately 31 tonnes of tires were diverted from the Squamish landfill for recycling last year as part of the B.C. government’s tire stewardship program.
The grand opening is scheduled to take place at the field on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.