The Service Clubs of Ladysmith have teamed up with the Mid Island Soccer Club to create an all access walking trail around the Forrest Field Soccer pitch. The project has been in the works for nearly 2 years with fundraising projects, planning and approvals completed by late 2019. Work was slated to start in early 2020 but Covid-19 put a hold on that.
On Saturday September 12, 2020 members of the Ladysmith Rotary, Kinsmen, Eagles and the Soccer clubs began preparing the ground to form for new paving from the parking lot and around the soccer pitch. Part of the work will include widening the existing concrete sidewalk to allow wheelchairs and walkers to navigate around spectators during games.
The clubs have raised close to $20,000.00 for the project through fundraisers, including an All Clubs Oktoberfest at Aggie Hall in 2018 (Lions, Kinsmen, Eagles, Soccer and Rotary), and an “Eggs Benefit” organized by the Oceanview Church of Ladysmith.
Funds were also provided through a BC Gaming Grant application and a raffle by the Rotary club of Ladysmith. Island Savings Credit Union donated another $1,000.00 and the Lions Club donated $750.00.
Ken Greig of the Rotary Club of Ladysmith has been the lead organizer and committee chair for the project.
“It has been great working with all of the groups on this project, It is the first time we have all worked together and the people involved have kept the project alive through some tough times,”Greig said. “We also want to thank the Town of Ladysmith for supporting the project right from the start, in particular Bob Simpson and Chris Barfoot for providing us with help to get the project to this stage.”
The project teams started on Saturday September 12 at 8:30 a.m. and worked through the day. Concrete pouring will take place on the weekend of September 19 – 20, and further trail work will take place in the future.
All volunteers wore masks, and observed proper physical distancing. Water and sanitizer were available, and the Kinsmen provided a lunch partially donated by Jason Kelland, who is a member of the Kinsmen and operates the Ladysmith A&W.
“We are very excited to be working on this project with the other service clubs and non profits,” said Kelland. “We especially want to thank local businesses who have either donated or discounted their materials and services. Ladysmith Home Hardware, Extend Rentals, A&W, Hub City Paving, Doug Lum of Mayco Mix Concrete, Tod Vass of Southside Hardscaping, Granby Excavating. This project is a great start on the future development of the the planned Lot 108 SportsPlex.”