By Greg Price
Concerned about the wear and tear the main field at Ken McDonald Memorial Sports Park has suffered over the years, Luke Wijna, chairperson for the Taber Recreation Board inquired to town administration on possible solutions to increase the quality longevity of the fields.
“That field is in rough shape and we’ve had a lot of problems with that main field,” said Wijna during discussion period during the recreation report for Taber Recreation Board’s meeting on April 7. “That field needs some work and rest. Would it be possible (in the future) to shut down that field for a year while utilizing the other fields. I know soccer is down (in numbers). Giving that field some longer rest, would that be prudent? Could we talk to the user groups to see how long we could rest it?”
Trent Smith, recreation manager for the Town of Taber, noted it’s always good practice to try and rest a field for as long as possible so that any maintenance done on the field can have time to take hold.
“We want to aerate it so there is less compaction and then you can add more water and nutrients to it,” said Smith.
While not something that could be implemented this 2016 spring/summer sports season, Aline Holmen, director of recreation for the Town of Taber noted it is something that could be considered in the future after careful consultation with invested user groups.
For now, traffic on the field will be kept as little as possible for 2016.
“We’ve had some meetings with the football people and after soccer is finished, no one will be on that field until the fall (for game play),” said Holmen.
Gathering up information from user groups and identifying usage patterns, Wijna added blocking off a field for a season could be visited in the future.
“If we find out from the user groups that maybe we don’t need every single field, maybe we do that to one of the fields a year and rotate it,”said Wijna.