Aldergrove’s new all-weather “Astroturf” fields haven’t even been installed yet and already vandals are trying to destroy them.
The two new sports fields at Aldergrove Athletic Park and Betty Gilbert Middle School had three holes burned into them on Sunday night, says Reid Mcdonald.
He’s pleading for residents to keep an eye on the park and to call 9-1-1 if they spot any potential trouble in the park.
Mcdonald, who has been leading public campaigns for the creation of the park and subsequent upgrades for several years, says it’s devastating to see all the hard work go up in flames.
He says the Astroturf Canada contractors who have been working on the field project have been having problems with vandals smashing windows out of the heavy equipment, such as excavators, rollers and Bobcats parked at the site overnight. The eight foot tall perimeter fencing has frequently been pushed over too.
However, on Sunday night the artificial turf fields were somehow torched in three places, and the crew had to spend Monday fitting new pieces in place of the burned sections. Vandals had also slashed open bags of materials, rubber and silica, that were meant for the second field.
“This is a $1.3 million project that the community has committed to help the Township pay for,” says Mcdonald. “This will enable the youth in our community to play soccer year-round, without damaging the real turf fields.”
Mcdonald said vandals had caused arson fires several years ago to the Rotary Field House at the park when it was under construction, but these problems had faded away in recent years.
“I figured the kids must have grown up but it appears they’re back, or there’s a new crop of them,” says Mcdonald.
Barring any catastrophes the first artificial turf field should be completed in 10 days and the second field by August 20.