Tzeachten First Nation invests in state-of-the-art artificial turf field

The field off Bailey Road is the first on the south side of Chilliwack, joining three on the north.

The Tzeachten First Nation has two sporting passions, soccer and baseball.

And now, they can play year round, rain or shine, thanks to a brand new artificial turf field.

Ground was broken on the $3.2 million project in May and construction moved ahead at a break-neck pace. The field was ready for use in mid-October, bringing a smile to the face of Tzeachten Chief Derek Epp.

“Soccer is very much a cultural sport to us, something we’ve played for a hundred years and something that’s entrenched in the way we live our life,” Epp said. “Tournament season is massive amongst Aboriginal people, and baseball is just as massive within our culture.”

This is the fourth artificial turf field in Chilliwack, and the first on the Sardis side of the freeway. North-side fields exist at Townsend Park, Exhibition Stadium and Chilliwack secondary school.

But Tzeachten’s field is different from the others in the way that it melds baseball and soccer.

In the picture to the right, Epp and Tzeachten general manager James Atebe are standing at home plate, but they are not standing on dirt. The ball diamond is turf as well, including the infield.The ‘outfield fence’ is an arced white line that is just visible, running left to right on the soccer pitch behind Epp ane Atebe.

The inset photo provides an overhead take on the unique design.

“The process was extremely quick, way faster than I ever imagined,” Epp said. “Within a week the land was cleared and it snowballed from there.

“What we’re standing on today is beatiful to see, it’s what the community desired and I believe it even supercedes what the community envisioned we would be able to produce.”

The biggest smile to cross Atebe’s face comes when he talks about the high tech light poles that loom over the field. They are LED lights and they can be turned on remotely. No coming down to the field to throw a switch in a box. Atebe can do it from his cell-phone.

“It’s a state of the art unique facility that we feel will serve our members for a long while,” Atebe said.

And they’re likely not done.

With roughly 10.7 acres of undeveloped land remaining, Atebe suggests there’s more to come as Tzeachten moves ahead with ‘phase two.’

“We want to put in washrooms and a second clubhouse,” he said. “And looking a little bit farther, I think we would like to have an indoor artificial turf warm-up space.”

The best news for local user groups is that Tzeachten doesn’t plan to keep this new field all to themselves, and Epp has already heard from local sports organizations.

“Chilliwack FC has contacted us and they’re talking about having super-eight games here,” Epp said. “I think it would be a great partnership for us to have between Chilliwack FC and Tzeachten.

“And as far as future expansion, we believe this is going to be a success and if the community deems it necessary in the future, then we will pursue more.”

Just Posted

Chilliwack soccer star Jordyn Huitema coming home for the holidays

After a crazy-good year with the Canadian national soccer program, the teenager deserves a break.

Chilliwack jury acquits man of choking, violent sexual assaults of girlfriends

Michael Sean Myers found guilty of criminal harassment and uttering threats in BC Supreme Court

Chilliwack school kids draw ‘don’t drink and drive’ messages on liquor store bags

Children from six elementary schools decorate bags as part of promotion created by local Mountie

GW Graham basketball Grizzlies enjoy home court win in Showcase Tournament

The AAA senior boys powerhouse swept aside 4 opponents, beating Elphinstone for the tourney title.

Fish farm transition plan praised for its Indigenous involvement

Plan is to create a fish farm-free migration corridor to protect wild salmon

Story of the Year: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Caretaker jailed, must pay back money after stealing $260K from elderly B.C. couple

Antonette Dizon, now 50, had been hired to provide extra care for Henry and Helen Abfalter

Alleged serial bank robber facing charges after Vancouver arrest

Darwin McGrath, 50, was arrested by plain-clothes police officers

Retailers feel the squeeze of their generous return policies

Technology data tracking can clamp down on fraudulent abuse

Canadians to get low-cost data-only mobile phone plans within 90 days: CRTC

Bell, Rogers and Telus will provide plans as cheap as 250MB for $15

5 to start your day

B.C.’s top cop says Surrey needs more Mounties, nublication ban lifted on name of girl killed in Abbotsford school stabbing and more

Police have ‘viable suspects’ in B.C. gangster’s 2017 murder

Crown prosecutor Neil Wiberg was successful in asking a judge to extend the length of time police can hold onto exhibits seized in connection with the homicide.

Man rescued from sinking boat off the coast of Vancouver Island

Mayday call came into Coast Guard saying vessel had taken on water, BC Ferries dispatched to scene

Four per cent of Canadian women report being sexually harassed in the workplace

One per cent of men report being sexually harassed in the workplace

Most Read