Park ready for play

If you build it, will they come?
From rocks and dirt, to sand, soil and grass, Kiwanis Beaver Creek Park is ready for play.

After six years of toil, a Greater Trail man’s ‘Field of Dreams’ has become a reality, now he just needs the support of the community to fully realize its potential.

John Foglia with the aid of a few key partners transformed the rough expanse of land at Kiwanis Beaver Creek Park into a lush green field that he intends to use as a soccer pitch for a Seven Aside Soccer tournament Sept. 1-4.

The tournament is divided into an over-40 division and an open division with modified rules to accommodate the limited size of the field and numbers. Foglia says he has a couple teams committed but would like to see at least 12 clubs hit the pitch for the inaugural kick off.

Foglia recognized the possibilities for the land six years ago, and with some generous funding from Area A, help from Impact excavator Jim Hall, and a smattering of volunteers, fill was brought in, the land was leveled, packed, soiled and seeded, and now sits as an added enhancement to the full facilities and campground already available at the Kiwanis Park.

Each year the field progressed slowly but surely: from rocks and dirt, to sand, then soil and now grass.

“There was probably 200 loads of fill that Jimmy Hall brought in and leveled it off, said Foglia. “He donated the time, the trucks, everything.”

Foglia also put in countless hours and close to $12,000 of his own money invested into the project.

Assistance from the City of Trail, local business, and volunteers has been luke warm at best and non-existent at its worst, says Foglia.

“If I figure out my time and the money I got into it, I’m probably around 40-50 grand, and the city is telling you to piss off, what kind of BS is that.”

Despite the lack of support, Foglia envisions the economic benefits the field can bring.

“I go to tournaments in the Okanagan for the last 35 years, and the amount of teams that come in is beyond comprehension . . . I’m not doing this for me, I’m 66 years old, I’m not going to be playing soccer anymore . . . but for whatever reason, I can’t seem to get any support. They talk about the downtown revitalization, this is the stuff that brings people into town.’”

The addition of the field to the location is ideal with the camping and full facilities, the covered picnic area, the kids playground and of course the mighty Columbia River.

The JF Auto owner is now hoping to get funding to build a maintenance shed for lawn-care equipment.  So far he hasn’t had much luck getting a response.

But it’s not just about the soccer tournament, he says. The field can now be used for open-air concerts and group picnics, and for events like the Kiwanis Canada Day celebration.

“This is a little gold mine if anybody knew how to work it. I’m not doing this to make money, I want this town to recognize what the hell we have here.”

The field has been built, now Foglia hopes people will indeed come to see it, to play or picnic, but most of all enjoy it.

The deadline for registration for the Seven Aside Soccer tournament is Aug. 15. Entry fee is $200 per team. Call 231-1173 or 368-3003 to register.