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CKC turf field closed for cleaning

The synthetic turf field at the Community Knowledge Campus has been temporarily closed so it can be cleaned. Manager of Recreation and Sport for the City Kylee Haining says the gates were locked Thursday since garbage like feathers and bird poop has built up over the winter.

“What we need to do is get out there with a groomer. Unfortunately, we can’t use the groomer through wet conditions or through snow, and we have a little bit of both going on right now. We’ve been out each day having a look at it to see if it’s starting to drain.”

The $4.7 million west sports field opened in the fall of 2014 and has its own draining system. As soon as it thaws out enough that the standing and frozen water on the turf is gone, City crews will go through the grooming process which takes three to four hours.

More than 1,000 hours are scheduled on the field a year, which Haining says is four times what a normal grass field can take. While the turf needs to be booked for games and practices, she says the public has always been welcome to play on it and other fields when not in use.

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“We actually have a booking meeting that we do with all the user groups to make sure that all of the games are scheduled and all of the major events are scheduled, and everybody gets what they need for the season, and then in and around that, if there’s open time on the field, if a couple kids want to come and kick a ball around, we’ve never ever stopped them from doing that.”

A discussion about use of the field and others in Grande Prairie was raised Thursday night when a video was posting to social media that appeared to show people being told by security that they couldn’t use the field. Haining says as soon as the gate is unlocked, the space is open for use as long as it doesn’t interfere with scheduled activities. The hope is that will happen by next week.

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