Kick off today for new Maple Ridge sports fields

Karina Leblanc Field gets underway

Kick off today for new Maple Ridge sports fields

Maple Ridge’s first new sports facility improvement in years kicks off today at 12:30 p.m. in Merkley Park, behind Maple Ridge secondary.

VIPs will be at the ceremony to mark the start of the construction of the $2-million all-weather sports field to replace the grass field that’s currently there.

The field is being named after Maple Ridge soccer star, Olympian and former national women’s soccer team goal keeper Karina Leblanc who used to practise on the grass field when she was growing up.

Part of the cost of the new field will be paid for through a $500,000 Canada 150 Infrastructure grant awarded to the city in 2015. That originally was intended to be used for new artificial fields in Albion fairgrounds but council changed the location because of parking concerns in Albion.

City, federal and school district representatives will all be at the ground-breaking ceremony.

The field is the first of two new sports fields to be fast-tracked. Another is planned for Golden Ears elementary, across from Thomas Haney secondary.

Two more all-weather fields will be built at Thomas Haney secondary, if a recreation funding plan gets public approval this fall.

The field is at 21970 – 124th St. Parking is on the north side of 122nd Avenue.