In the spring of 2011, we were prevented from practicing on any city park fields in Webster Groves. So, we complained to Mayor Welch of the City of Webster Groves that our soccer club had nowhere to play in the spring because all Webster parks were reserved for baseball. The Director of Parks and Recreation had seen an open field behind Sherwood Baptist Church and suggested we contact the church. After a breakfast with Pastor Rob Hurtgen at The Boardwalk Cafe (that would become our regular meeting place), we finalized an agreement to rent the field on a weekly basis. We moved our goals onto the field that gave us a 125ft X 125ft playing area. The grass was OK and we filled in the holes. The grade was fairly steep on the south end, limiting the length of the field that we could use.
Remeber, this was all initiated by the City of Webster Groves and their inability to provide us with park space. Sherwood Baptist Church saved this small Club in its time of need!
As the Club grew in 2011, we knew that the current amount of space at Sherwood Baptist Church would not meet our growing needs. We met with the church's board of directors to see if we could solve the problem together. We agreed that the Club would raise the money needed to transform the athletic field into a year-round soccer field and that the church would lease the space to us for $1 per year over a 10-year lease.
The City of Webster Groves said, "not so fast", and we were forced to file a Conditional Use Permit even though the city had sent us to use that field a year earlier! We filed the paperwork and several concerned neighbors showed up at city hall to try and block our continued use of the field. It was a classic "not in my backyard" viewpoint. The city finally granted us the permit (albeit a temporary one), but we could not put up a fence or any signage. We will not receive the full permit from the city until the grass is growing on 100% of the field (not kidding!).
The new soccer field is 320ft X 165ft with beautiful hybrid Bermuda sod and an automated irrigation system. The project was completed and is maintained by Ideal Landscaping and Design. ALl of the families and companies that donated to the field are enshrined on brick pavers at the north entrance.