United Way of Hall County partnered with the Salvation Army and Gainesville Parks and Recreation to apply for a grant to secure funding for the soccer field. The grant, funded through the GA 100 initiative to help fund mini soccer fields like this one across Georgia, is worth $75,000 and United Way is contributing $25,000. The city has agreed to cover the rest of the cost of installing the pitch, which officials expect to be around $50,000.
The GA 100 initiative is a partnership of the Atlanta United Foundation, which funds the program.
The turf field will be built with a concrete base before the turf is laid on it, and the concrete could be the main obstacle if the project is delayed, Mattison said. It has been difficult to get by with recent supply chain issues.
In addition to the mini-pitch, the neighborhood park will benefit from additional lighting and likely benches and new walkways, she said. Installing more mini-fields like this is part of Gainesville Parks’ master plan over the next few years.
Gainesville has made recent improvements to Kenwood Park, across from Myrtle, making way for the land.
“We installed a small new playground (in Kenwood). We built a bridge; we installed new sidewalks,” Mattison said. “(Myrtle) is very popular for pickup basketball…but the playground (in Myrtle) is very old. We didn’t want to remove that playground until we had a new playground. games across the street in Kenwood…. Hopefully this will be the first of many such courts.