Tahoe’s synthetic field opens for soccer | SierraSun.com

Tahoe’s synthetic field opens for soccer

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunJke McDermott spreads wood chips around the newly constructed synthetic soccer field at North Tahoe Regional Park.

North Shore soccer fans have a new synthetic field in the North Tahoe Regional Park where they can spend their afternoons playing pick-up matches.

The freshly chalked white and yellow lines outlining the 65-by-150-yard field are especially vibrant on the turf’s bright green artificial grass.

Clayborn Contracting Group, hired by the North Tahoe Public Utility District, put the finishing touches on the regional park turf last week, giving the public access to the park’s most recent addition. A grand opening will likely occur in the spring, said Parks and Facilities Manager Kathy Long.

“I think it’s beautiful,” Long said. “I mean it’s a great addition to the park.”

Kevin McDermott, commissioner for the district’s parks and recreation department, said his kids are already taking full advantage of the new field.

“Boy, what can I say? Yahoo!,” said McDermott. “No, it’s a good thing. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s going to give the disc golf course a run for its money as far as use.”

The $900,000 grant-funded synthetic field, a project that was discussed for five years, broke ground in July in a plot above and east of the regional park playground, Long said. A notice of completion will soon be submitted to the contractors.

The field’s foundation consists of a graduated road base of gravel, an ideal material for drainage. The synthetic turf material is polyethylene plastic and is topped off by a “crumb rubber substance” meant to keep the turf’s grass-like blades upright.

An added bonus to the synthetic field is its low-maintenance character.

There’s no need to water the grass, no need to mow the lawn or use fertilizer, McDermott said.

“It saves a lot of money in the long run,” he added. “Although, it cost a lot more initially.”

While the soccer aspect to the field is complete, district staff are working to secure funding to build a running track that would circle the rectangular turf ” something that would be a “dream come true” for track and field Coach Warren Mills of North Tahoe High School.

“[A track] would be nice after all these years,” Mills said.

North Tahoe High School sprinters currently use the resources within the school’s vicinity for their Spring training ” muddy roads, snow-soaked fields and the school gym.

“We run on the streets around the school, in the parking lot ” anywhere we can,” Mills said.

But the proposed track and field-events area, which would offer space for javelin, discus, shot-put, long jump and high jump events, hinges on funding, Long said.

The fiscally strapped recreation department is seeking additional grants for the $500,000 to $1 million venture.

North Tahoe’s synthetic field, one larger field divided into two smaller areas, is the second in the area, next to the Squaw Valley turf. But the regional park location offers more than a state-of-the-art amenity, said President Lane Lewis of the district’s board of directors. It also offers a view of Lake Tahoe.

“It’s stunning up there. I mean you can sit on the field, walk the field and you can see the lake,” Lewis said.

Organized sports groups wishing to use the field should contact the North Tahoe Public Utility District, Long said. The district is looking for groups that would organize soccer camps and leagues, she said.

“We would really like to hear from them because we don’t have staff to run programs,” Long said.

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