Wet weather delays maintenance, use of sports fields

With the sun finally shining and spring in the air, people are sure to want to get outside and enjoy some recreational time. Unfortunately, a succession of stormy weather has put a hold on maintenance of some of the local sports fields.

In Woolwich, the opening of the fields was delayed as crews worked around the inclement weather.

“Right now, we had pushed our field back – you see we have an opening of May 1 for all of our sports fields,” explained Brad Hergott, maintenance supervisor for Woolwich. “This year we pushed it back to May 14 just to be kind of in the same line as City of Kitchener, City of Waterloo, all of the surrounding regions.”

The recent wind storms that wreaked havoc across the region last Friday certainly didn’t help, but township crews are hoping to be able to make the new deadline.

“Pushing forward, we’re hoping to meet that mark, but the rain and the ice storm and the wind storm is definitely taking it back,” said Hergott. “The groundwater, the amount of water on the fields is still a problem, we’re battling that. I know our landscapers are having trouble getting in to cut those fields because of the water sitting on it.”

Families looking forward to making use of the Bolender Park splash pad will have to wait just a little while longer until the weather definitely stabilizes.

“Just with the weather the way it’s been bouncing around where we had freezing weather a week and a half ago, we don’t want to open the lines for the very first year and find out we’ve got frozen lines for the very first year and find out we’ve got frozen lines,” said Hergott.

The water is expected to start running this year on June 2, the first Saturday of the month, giving people plenty of time to enjoy the pad for the season.

The facility, which  opened in Elmira just last year, had initially been scheduled to be up and running in time for the summer in 2017, but was delayed into the early fall because of more rainy weather. While residents still had enough warm weather to enjoy the splash pad for a while, this year will be the first full summer the splash pad will get to be used.

The last of ice at the WMC arenas is scheduled for a thaw in the next few weeks as well, after which the floor space will be available for rentals.

“We took the ice out of the McLeod rink for the maple syrup festival,” said Hergott. “We still have the ice in Snyder and that’s coming out … the last rental is May 17.”

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