BY BILL PHILLIPS
It may not feel like it’s time to get out on the fields and play some soccer or softball, but it is.
Soccer players and softball players are chomping at the bit to get out on city fields, especially the soccer fields at Rotary Park where the snow is pretty much completely gone.
Athletes, however, will have to wait probably another two weeks, at least, before they can strap on the cleats and hit the turf.
“Mother Nature has been a little slow this winter,” said City Park Supervisor Chris Bjorn. “But it has also been protecting all the fields with the snow-load. We’re just waiting for the root growth to start and the fields to be healthy before we let people get on.”
It’s critical not to open up the fields too soon because early season damage can take all summer to fix, especially with continued use.
Bjorn said the weather will be the determining factor in when the fields actually open. This week is expected to remain chilly, but temperatures should increase next week.
“We can’t have a definite timeline (for opening),” he said. “We’re going to see how next week goes.”
He said opening the fields this year will be about two weeks later than normal.
There is one upside to the seemingly never-ending snow we had this past winter. It helps the condition of the turf.
“The fields are looking very good, the snowpack helps protect the fields,” he said. “The past few years we had a lot more thawing and freezing and that actually can damage the fields in the winter. This year we’re kind of excited that we might have some really good field conditions this year.”
Connaught Hill and park washrooms remain closed
Connaught Hill Park will not be opened to vehicle traffic until the roads in the park are free from ice and snow. The City anticipates that the park gates will open in late April or early May depending upon the weather.
City staff are also preparing to open park washrooms later this month or in early May. Washrooms must remain closed until overnight temperatures no longer drop below freezing.
Pine Valley Golf Course set to open
The City of Prince George anticipates that Pine Valley Golf Course will be ready for golfing by Monday, April 23. However, if the weather cooperates, the course could be open as soon as this Saturday. For further details and contact information, please visit the Pine Valley website.