First mowing at the Blackhills Community Soccer Complex! The grass is growing and so is our enthusiasm - kids will be kicking soccer balls at the complex soon.
2007 was a milestone year! Hundreds of hours were spent by soccer parents, players, grandparents, coaches and friends hand-picking and raking wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of sticks and rocks from the fields. For a while it seemed the only thing we were able to grow was sticks and rocks! However, in the late fall, we were ready to sow seed. Wilco Agriliance of Chehalis donated fertilizer and the application of seed that was donated by Oregon seed companies, Ampac, Burlington and Mountain View. The seed sprouted, to our relief, and we now have six fields of grass growing. We will level and seed the remaining fields in Spring 2008.
In July 2006, the 585th Engineer Company (Pipeline Construction) stationed at Fort Lewis made huge inroads in preparing the site for planting grass this fall and preparing the first half of the access road for paving. The Fort Lewis platoon is the only active pipeline construction company in the country. The soldiers' specialty is building pipelines from ports inland, as deployed troops advance. They also operate the heavy machinery needed to complete road-building and other projects. The Army coordinated the project with the Blackhills Community Soccer Complex organization over the course of several months this spring after soldiers in the unit had volunteered their time clearing trees from the property last winter. The work served as an excellent training exercise for the platoon. The worked accomplished by the men and women of the 585th include preparing the first half of the access road to the site for paving and preparing over 30 acres of the land for final grading prior to planting grass in the fall. The Blackhills Community Soccer Complex sincerely thanks all the soldiers who participated in the exercise for their help and looks forward to working with them again in the future.
After years of negotiating and re-negotiating with our neighbors, we finally have our road easement agreement signed and recorded. We have obtained a road access permit from Thurston County and have begun preliminary work on the access road to the complex. Thanks to a $1,500 donation from our neighbor, Black Hills Properties' LLC, we have hired Ron Wells to clear the easement for our road. See pictures of this work below.
Since September the efforts of a small group of dedicated people has cleared more than 30 of our 40 acres! Scott Manke of Manke Lumber, Inc. has generously made a bulldozer available for our use since early September. David Meyer has been spending many days of his free time out at the site operating the bulldozer and clearing land. He has been helped by David Austin, James Charette, and Dan Jones. Rod Crocker has been a great help also, especially organizing the effort to salvage marketable timber from the site. He has been helped by Keith Lutz, Parke and Steve Jones. Others helping have been Evan Hindman, Sam Woolery, Earle Tallman, and Dennis Crisp.
Our road design has been submitted for permitting. We are committed to having the access road installed by this summer. To accomplish this, we are depending on donations of goods and services. To date, Mike and Stefanie Parsons of Marine View Gravel in Tacoma have agreed to donate some gravel for the project. We will be responsible for hauling the gravel to the site. Brian Fluetsch from Sunset Air has agreed to contribute some towards our hauling costs but we need help in contacting haulers willing to donate their services or reduce their fee to haul gravel for us. We also need other companies willing to donate and deliver gravel and/or asphalt and businesses to assist with road construction.