MCFARLAND, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Filling a need for more sports facilities in the city, McFarland is constructing a new park that will include a skate park, baseball diamond and soccer field.
The soccer field will have a state of the art drainage system and, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the U.S. Soccer Foundation, LED lighting.
“The U.S. Soccer Foundation is proud to support these organizations that are working to give children safe play spaces,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “With safe and accessible places to play, children have the ability to reach their full potential while enjoying an active and healthy lifestyle.”
The completion of the field cannot come soon enough for Demitrio Perez, a coach and father of a young soccer player.
“It’s not enough, these two fields,” he said, referring to the fields at Browning Road Park, currently the only two fields for recreational soccer in McFarland.
Aside from being constantly crowded, the overuse of the fields has caused another problem – they’re mostly dirt.
“I wanna play on grass. And not like, dirt,” said Christian Rios, a u-14 player who was excited for the new park to open.
McFarland’s Planning Director, Dennis McNamara, said the city was well aware of the need for more athletic facilities, especially on the east side of the city.
“McFarland was split by highway 99. There became the east side and the west side. We’re trying to make it all one McFarland,” said McNamara while looking over the extensive park, situated on 12 acres on Sherwood Road on the city’s east side.
Named after the coach who inspired the movie, “McFarland, USA,” Jim White “Blanco” Park will feature an outdoor amphitheater, water park and other amenities in addition to the sports fields.
McNamara said, the park will also become connected to other parts of the city by walking trails and bike paths, funded by separate grants.