Observer file photo Last year the fields were dry much earlier than they are this year. This photo was taken May 4 at Blackburn Park.

Sports fields still drenched

City staff will be reassessing them on Friday.

All the snow and rain might be good for the wildfire season, but it’s not the best for the opening of various spring sports.

Jason Chernoff, the city’s supervisor of parks and recreation, says maintenance of the sports fields is about a month behind last year’s schedule. That doesn’t mean the opening of the fields will be, though.

The state of the fields will be reassessed this Friday morning.

“Then we’re going to be going day-by-day after that,” he says.

All the fields are closed right now, even the Safeway fields behind the school board office. They aren’t usually closed, Chernoff says, but this year, water is pooling on them.

“The biggest precaution is we just have to do the right thing for the fields. If we go on too early and do damage, then they’ll be closed more often for maintenance. It’s the safety of the players – safety first.”

He says the fields just haven’t recuperated from last fall, plus all the rain and snow over the winter. Last year, the fields were open at this time.

“We tried thatching; that didn’t work very well,” he said of the saturated fields. The same was true of turf maintenance and patching. “It’s way too wet.”

He expects the new soccer pitch at Blackburn Park might be open by the end of June.

Chernoff says all user groups will receive an email through the recreation society to update them once the fields are reassessed. Field status can also be found on the city’s website under ‘sports fields.’

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