'The right thing to do': Company, community works to repair soccer pitch
Sunbury West School soccer field will be restored by dozens of volunteers using donated resources
A month after a school's soccer field was pulverized by joyriding vandals, scores of volunteers — and a generous donation from a Fredericton company — will help to fix the pitch.
The field at Sunbury West School in Fredericton Junction was rendered unusable in April when someone drove their truck across the sod several times, doing doughnuts and churning up the mud.
"I was pretty upset at first," said Gary Jones, whose daughters use the field during the school year. "But you get over that and you just start to think what you can do to fix it."
Jones says after hearing outrage from dozens of local residents, he created the Facebook group "SWS Fix the Field" to organize a community campaign to restore the property.
In about an hour, he said it had more than 250 members.
"In our small communities we always come together," said Jones, who resides in the neighbouring village of Tracy. "Whenever we run into anything like property loss, illness, vandalism, anything like that we've always come together to resolve the issue and fix it."
But the school ground regulations prohibited volunteers from fixing the grounds on their own, because it's considered government property.
"It's work that had to be done by a licensed contractor," said Jones. "And one stepped up."
Owner and operator of Rainsford Contractors, Jeff Lingley, heard about the damage to the field in a previous CBC News report.
"I was kind of bothered by it actually," said Lingley. "It's a small community and I assume they use that field quite often."
Lingley offered his company's equipment, resources and staff to help restore the field, with the help of volunteers under his contractors licence.
"It's just the right thing to do," said Lingley. "I'm not doing it for publicity or anything, I just hate to see these people suffer."
Lingley and the volunteers had originally planned to restore the pitch last weekend, but heavy rain delayed their efforts.
"We have to wait for the ground to dry out," said Lingley. "Right now with that amount of people on it, with equipment, we'd do more damage than good, so we have to wait.
"If this weather keeps up, maybe next weekend," he said.