BOISE, Idaho — St. Mary's Catholic Parish has been in Boise since 1937, they started 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 children to play, so they transformed part of their parking lot into an urban mini-pitch soccer field the first of its kind in the Treasure Valley.
"It’s an incredible opportunity for our school because we are landlocked so just having the opportunity to get outside, learn out here, play out here and come together is a real opportunity for us all," said St. Mary's principal Brian Olmes.
The field is a 90 by 50-foot field with goals built-in and dark sky compliant LED lighting so children can play at any time during the day.
"It’s great it’s fun and I’m so thankful," said three students who just finished the first soccer game at the new artificial turf field.
60 percent of the children at St. Mary's speak Spanish and diversity is part of the culture and leaders at St. Mary's believes incorporating the world's most popular sport will help integrate the students even more and it was the parent's idea to build this field.
"I'm the God guy and what the community needs and what these young people need is not something I know," said Father John R. Worster. "So to be part of this leadership team that made this happen is really exciting for me I take no credit for myself I got to watch the miracle happen."
The project came together through funding from a number of different foundations, alumni chipped in while families and individuals contributed donations to build this urban field through a local company called Urban Soccer Park.
An Urban Soccer Park is a stunning, professional-grade #sportsfield that attracts a wide demographic, yet requires little overhead and maintenance. Contact us today to bring the #UrbanSoccerPark experience to your community >> https://t.co/4BU2LZohO3 pic.twitter.com/de2jMceM2B— Urban Soccer Park (@UrbanSoccerPark) April 29, 2022
"It’s a wonderful facility we are so impressed with the workmanship of Urban Soccer Park," said Olmes. "They have put together such an incredible facility we are so happy it is professional, safe and fun as you can hear in the background."
Urban parks like these have been popular around the country and now the Treasure Valley has one of its own at St. Mary's.
St. Mary's also plans to use the space for volleyball and they will open up the pitch for youth clubs, recreation camps and other schools to use.