BOISE, Idaho – St. Mary’s Catholic Parish has been in Boise since 1937, they opened a school in 1949, and today they are the only Catholic school to have a Spanish literacy program.
St. Mary’s has a small footprint, with no room to grow and no green space for the kids to play, so they turned part of their parking lot into a mini urban soccer field, the first of its kind in Treasure Valley.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for our school because we’re landlocked, so just having the opportunity to get out there, learn here, play here and come together is a real opportunity for all of us,” said St. Mary’s manager Brian Olmes.
The field is a 90ft by 50ft field with built-in goals and dark sky compliant LED lighting so kids can play any time of the day.
“It’s awesome, it’s fun and I’m so grateful,” said three students who just finished the first game of football on the new artificial turf pitch.
60% of St. Mary’s children speak Spanish and diversity is part of the culture and St. Mary’s leaders believe incorporating the most popular sport in the world will help to include students even more and that was the parents’ idea to build this area.
“I’m God’s guy and what the community needs and what these young people need is not something I know,” Father John R. Worster said. “So to be part of this leadership team that made this possible is really exciting for me, I don’t take any credit for myself, I got to see the miracle happen.”
The project has come about with funding from a number of different foundations, alumni have contributed while families and individuals have donated to build this urban pitch through a local business called Urban Soccer Park.
“It’s a wonderful facility, we’re so impressed with Urban Soccer Park’s work,” said Olmes. “They’ve put together such an amazing facility that we’re so glad it’s professional, safe and fun, as you can hear in the background.”
Urban parks like these have been popular across the country and now Treasure Valley has one in St. Mary’s.
St. Mary’s also plans to use the space for volleyball and will open the field to youth clubs, recreation camps and other schools.