Hail dear Old Northern.
This Saturday, October 6th, at 11am, Northern Secondary School's newly improved Clarke Pulford Field will be officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the entire community. Named after a former Northern physical education teacher, the field has long been in need of revitalization. The playing surface was patchy, full of holes and was unusable at times.
This is the culmination of a long journey that took the dedication of many students, parents, alumni and local residents to see the project through to completion. While working as our area's School Trustee, I saw first-hand the passion and devotion that the Northern community had for this project. Through countless fundraising events including a "taste of the town" evening, raffles for Maple Leafs tickets and a 24 hour camp out on the field, the Northern Secondary School Foundation and our school community raised much of the needed funds.
As our new City Councillor, I was honoured to be able to complete this fundraising initiative through City Council last September where I worked with my colleagues to ensure that the remaining $630,000 needed for the field was approved by Council for the school and local community.
The new field consists of a 400-metre, four-lane running track and a full football and soccer field built to professional standards. The grass will be replaced by high-quality artificial turf while bike racks and fencing will also be installed. The playing area will be used by physical education classes, Northern's many successful athletic teams and will provide recreational opportunities for the wider community. Through hard work, a consensus was reached on a Community Use Agreement with the support of Shelley Laskin, our School Trustee, the Sherwood Park Residents' Association, Northern students, staff, parents and alumni. When not in use for school activities, the field will be available for neighbourhood residents to play soccer, frisbee, running and many other activities.
All of the hard work put in by dedicated volunteers has paid off with the creation of a field that will merit the excellence of Northern's athletes and will be accessible to local residents. Thank you to our entire school and residential community for your support – I hope you are able to join us on Saturday to celebrate this remarkable achievement!
I also wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving weekend.