BUZZ Blog: Want to use the Heritage turf? Now's your chance
Peter Passi and Brandon Stahl cover issues related to the city of Duluth. Follow BUZZ on Twitter.
Are you turf enough?
A couple weeks ago, before councilor Jim Stauber let it be known that he was no longer with Gold Cross, he sent me a message saying he was concerned that the city wasn't getting it's ice and turf time at the Heritage Center.
See, when the city helped fund the construction of the Heritage Center, part of what it got in return were guarantees of several hours of free public use of the facility at the hockey arena (188 hours) and the indoor soccer-like field (62 hours). Stauber said he was concerned that because there wasn't a great deal of knowledge of that committment among the community, that the public use would go by the wayside. He counted at the time several hours that had not been used.
"There are a lot of kids," Stauber wrote, "especially in that neighborhood, that have inadequate playgrounds and community centers, when much of the money we spent on heritage could have gone to their facilities."
City spokeswoman Amy Norris, who helps to coordinate the hours, said the city has gotten its ice time each year in the form of open skate times or public leagues playing at the Heritage, but scheduling turf time has been trickier because there isn't quite the demand to use a giant indoor soccer field (who knew?). Apparently the field is used as ice during the winter and is available as turf only available during the summer/early fall months, when people tend to use outdoor spaces.
"It's just more specialized," Norris said. "We do have some trouble filling those hours."
There is an open-hour schedule for the turf posted on the city's park and recreation Web site, but many of those are on Friday night and they don't fill the required hours. So, Norris said she's looking for community suggestions/requests to use the turf, which means that if you want to use a giant indoor soccer field, here's your chance. Call Norris at 730-4300.
"Who knows, maybe somebody has ideas," she said. "The faciity is wonderful."