Canada Day, heavy rain leave mucky mess in Ottawa parks
The National Capital Commission says it budgeted for re-sodding 2 of its parks
Canada Day celebrations at a Barrhaven park caused a mucky mess that has forced a soccer league to move practices and games elsewhere, likely for the rest of the season.
Tire tracks left by midway vehicles and tow trucks snake across two of three soccer fields in Clarke Fields Park off Strandherd Drive. Some of the mud had not yet dried Tuesday evening and there were several deep puddles on the park's outer edges.
The Ottawa South United soccer club had to cancel its program for about 100 children between the ages of three and five on Tuesday night, according to general manager Jim Lianos.
The rainy conditions this year and damage to fields have been an issue in general this season, he said.
"It does impact facilities and the ability to run consistent programming," Lianos said.
"There's nothing you can do, there's no one to blame here. Mother Nature decided to give us a lot of rain this year."
That weather ended up creating a sticky situation for midway vehicles that were part of Barrhaven's Canada Day, according to organizer Darrell Bartraw.
"They couldn't drive out, they couldn't get their trucks in. So the tow trucks had to come and taking the trucks out caused quite a bit of damage to the field — some ruts and stuff," Bartraw said.
In the seven years they've set up midway rides, they've never had damage like this, he said.
Bartraw is meeting with the city Wednesday morning to discuss the condition of the sites and how to repair them. It's unclear if his organization will have to pay or move the location of the midway next year, he said.
"We're certainly going to look at it and we'll evaluate it for next year and see if we're going to change anything," he said.
The City of Ottawa is helping park users find alternative fields while repairs take place and are developing a plan to repair the site, according to city recreation manager Dan Chenier.
The two damaged soccer fields will likely be closed for the rest of the season, according to the city.
Clean up at Confederation, Major's Hill parks
Clarke Fields Park isn't the only greenspace affected.
The National Capital Commission predicted it would need to clean up and re-sod two downtown parks after a combination of festivals and Canada Day celebrations, according to spokesperson Dominique Leblanc.
Work to clean and repair Confederation Park will begin next week, following the Ottawa Jazz Festival, Leblanc said.
Major's Hill Park also requires some repairs following the Festival Franco-Ontarien, National Aboriginal Day and Canada Day events it hosted, she said. That means current detours for pedestrians and cyclists remain in place.
The NCC and the Department of Canadian Heritage will be covering the cost of the work and had included it in their budget, Leblanc said. The NCC could not provide a dollar figure.